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News

Weak password management on browsers

InfoSecurity Europe : 19 December, 2008  (Technical Article)
Apple and Google web browsers criticised for weak security features by Infosecurity Adviser
Mike Barwise from Infosecurity Adviser has called the recently announced security problems of the Apple Safari and Google Chrome Web browsers shocking.

In his latest blog posting, Barwise, an IT veteran of some 30 years, noted that both of the two Web browsers have dangerously weak password management. The bugs in question are 'such basic errors that I'd fail an undergraduate for perpetrating them in coursework,' he said.

The fact that the two Web browsers, whilst relatively minor in the great Internet Explorer v Firefox stakes, have more than ten million users between them, makes it a potentially serious issue.

When it comes to the real security of online services, Barwise asserts that there appears to be a complete lack of security awareness among providers.
The problem, he says, is that the Web has become a triumph of instant gratification over common sense - nobody is making the effort to ensure their systems are designed to be secure, they're just pushing them out the door the moment they seem to function.

All of the security weaknesses he identifies in the Infosecurity Adviser blog are potentially serious, either for the provider or the customer, and none of them would be difficult to address. In each case, Barwise considers, that 'the desire to be 'up and running' has completely overridden any caution.'

As the UK enters the final days of its annual pre-Christmas online shopping spree, Barwise's comments will ring true with most IT security professionals.

The big question, of course, is whether those engaged in online commerce will wake up and smell the coffee before a serious online security faux pas occurs.

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