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Home » Hacking News » Hackers helping Microsoft

Hackers helping Microsoft

by Nikola Strahija on September 30th, 2005 The company has presented beta Internet Explorer 7 at the Hack in the Box Security Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was pleased with the result.

-It's the first time we've ever come out ahead of a product release to present and get feedback, said Tony Chor, group program manager at Microsoft's Internet Explorer team. -People such as attendees of the Hack in the Box conference approach security from a very different, very valuable perspective, he added.

Chor went a step further, saying Microsoft has maintained an "adversarial" relationship with the hacking community in the past, but "that wasn't working. It just made them mad and we didn't benefit from their passion and expertise."

But the company is putting that past behind it, and its goal is to engage the "security research community" more in the future, presenting at more hacker conventions and giving them a chance to critique some of Microsoft's work ahead of releases.

-People had a lot of good suggestions, and asked a lot of good questions, said Chor. Chor said he planned to increase the amount of technical detail in future presentations. The Beta 2 version of IE7, currently under construction at Microsoft at Microsoft, will likely be ready by the end of the year.

One new feature on the web browser is running in higher security "Protected Mode" by default, set at a lower user privilege. In protected mode, all downloads and other packages are automatically dropped in the "temporary Internet files" folder, so malware can't be deposited on the hard disk. In the temporary folder, IE and Windows treat the files as dangerous and they're given no privileges to move about.

Microsoft will license its "Protected Mode" innovation to other developers for free to help spread its use, and increase security, said Chor.
For businesses, Microsoft added a "Compatibility Mode" that works when a person is using the company's intranet and allows them to drop files wherever they want to on their PCs.

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