Firefox vs. Protected Mode IE?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Hangetsu, Jul 16, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hangetsu

    Hangetsu Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Posts:
    259
    Hi all!

    I'm running Vista 32 bit with KIS presently, and I've been doing some browsing of Secunia lately. It seems Firefox has a lot more open vulnerabilities than IE at the moment. On the plus side though, Firefox never has to deal with ActiveX.

    I really haven't had a chance to look at Protected Mode IE. Does anyone have any experience with it, and would running IE in Protected Mode give it a security edge over Firefox?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,699
    Hello,

    Without going into details, it is very simple:

    You cannot get infected while browsing with Firefox - this is called a drive-by or whatever.

    You can get infected while browsing with IE in whichever mode.

    Answer: Firefox.

    A bit more about this issue. This does NOT apply to manual downloads and installations. As to Firefox, nothing executed inside the browser can cause system damage. No such thing with Firefox. Only a few weak proofs of concept.

    Mrk
     
  3. LoneWolf

    LoneWolf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Posts:
    3,408
    This is your opion or fact?
    Do you have any proof?
    Or is this just speculation?
    No security holes ever in firefox?
    Ever?
    Hmmmmmmm.
     
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,699
    Hello,

    First, it's innocent till proven otherwise.

    Second, I've got all the proofs you want.

    Third, security hole does NOT mean a living, breathing exploit that can knock down the browser and take over.

    Fourth, I'm one man, there are billions out there. I'm challenging everyone to provide one real example where you get owned browsing the net with Firefox.

    Mrk
     
  5. ASpace

    ASpace Guest

    You sure? ;) :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2007
  6. ASpace

    ASpace Guest

    @Hangetsu

    There is nothing wrong with the ActiveX technology when you can have complete control of what ActiveX is being installed . IE7 will always ask for permission . This resembles the add-ons in Firefox .

    Well , Protected Mode is a little bit ~difficult and long to explain but I woud try by saying that it makes IE7 run with less privilages than any other application in Vista and thus IE7 is IE7 only. No change can affect any other program or the Opearating System . Full detailed description of Protected Mode in Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer browser 7 can be found here:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/02/09/528963.aspx

    Example of how Protected mode can help :
    http://www.determina.com/security.research/flash/ani.swf
     
  7. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Posts:
    9,006
    on this pc i have never been infected with malware.
    sure ive been close but back in the day when i used IE 6 f-secure blocked all the trojans from the google search "paid music"
    but ive had no alerts when ive been using the pc since i switched to firefox then later on opera.
    lodore
     
  8. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Posts:
    7,786
    I have never had any problems with IE7 either, I think most of the fears come from the older IE 6 vulnerabilities and so on. IE7 is fine now, and Firefox isn't the great thing it's cracked up to be either...
     
  9. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,509
    Location:
    Slovakia
    Simple put, Protected mode is a sandbox and sandboxed browser vs nonsanboxed is definitelly safer, but you can get a free and a real sandbox for FF as well. ;)
    An interesting assumption, can you prove it, seriously? ;)
     
  10. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,699
    Hello,
    Tom, you know very well what I meant.
    No need to tease for the sake of teasing. You will not get infected, but someone else might.
    Mrk
     
  11. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,509
    Location:
    Slovakia
    That is what I meant too, "someone" can get infected via Firefox as well, not you of course. I sometimes look on HT forums and there are people, who use only Firefox and they got infected. The most funny question, for me, sounds like: "How could I get infected, when I use Firefox?" Sure, there is malware, which eg download to FF' temp folder and then it will run IE to get the rest code, because it is simpler, but the point is, it is possible and it is used for sure, but in comparision to IE, it is uncomparable, that is why I recommend Firefox to my friends, because I know, that they "can not get infected" via it, like they could via IE. I just do not like the way, you said it, that is all, but we can never agree on that, you are MS-hater and I am MS-lover. No offense meant of course. ;)
     
  12. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,699
    Hello,
    You get can infected if you use Firefox, but not THROUGH Firefox only by browsing. That's the difference. Drive-by downloads don't work in Firefox. You have to actively download and execute. That's the one huge difference.
    Cheers,
    Mrk
     
  13. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Posts:
    7,786
    Drive-by downloads are a non-issue in IE7 also..
     
  14. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    If IE7 is always fully patched.

    The Miami Dolphins website hack earlier this year proved that being 2 or 3 months late with the most recent XP/IE7 updates was enough for malicious javascript to install a trojan downloader and a password stealing program, just by browsing a 'safe' website with IE7 not fully patched.

    Alternative browsers have vulnerabilities, of course. But they are still targeted far less often than IE6 or even IE7.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2007
  15. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,509
    Location:
    Slovakia
    Javascripts were, are and most likely ever will be the most dangerous thing in all browsers. Drive by downloads does not affect any browser, that I would know about, because an user would have to execute the file willingly. At first IE will ask if an user wants to run or download a file, after downloading it, it will let the user know, that it can be dangerous, then UAC will ask and then it will run. If the user will try to run the file directly, it will ask to launch a software or UAC.
     
  16. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Posts:
    7,786
    Yes, you have a point, and perhaps a majority of users are not fully updated and patched at any given time.
     
  17. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    6,426
    Well there is a major difference between XP IE7 and Vista IE7 (in Protected Mode). Vista IE7 version is far more secure just because of Protected Mode.
     
  18. ASpace

    ASpace Guest

    and also because of the whole Vista conseption - User Account Control , Mandatory Integrity Control and User Interface Privilege Isolation
     
  19. tlu

    tlu Guest

    You can enable Protected Mode for Firefox with these steps:
    1. Execute "icacls firefox.exe /setintegritylevel low" in order to change the Integrity Level for Firefox.
    2. You also have to change this for some folders in order to make them writable for Firefox by executing

      icacls foldername /setintegritylevel (oi) (ci) low

      Do this for the following folders
      • C:\Users\Name\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox
      • C:\Users\Name\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox
      • C:\Users\Name\AppData\Local\Temp
    3. Create a special download folder and apply step 2 for this folder.
     
  20. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Posts:
    7,786
    Good point, hadn't even considered that....
     
  21. PoetWarrior

    PoetWarrior Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Posts:
    335

    Not to mention the "Enable Memory Protection to Help Mitigate Online Attacks" feature in IE7 (Vista).

    Just discovered that this DEP feature is not on by default so I turned it on through Advanced tab in IE7. So far things are smooth. :D
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.