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Forum Thread: running instance vs. installation

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polari running instance vs. installation
Member 17th Feb, 2010 06:06
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It seems to me PSI scans active instances of the browser and flash contained within it, i.e. in tabs or windows instances. Since I've many profiles of Firefox, only one of which is active at a time, or the one that was last active (when the browser is closed completely).

Is this situation causing confusion for Secunia PSI scan !? It seems that way, because each scan of every profile flags Firefox is outdated even though Firefox itself shows it as up-to-date, i.e currently opened instance, but updated in the previously opened profile! Somehow this fact doesn't seem to be known to PSI scan!

I see the same problem with Flash as well. It keeps pointing it as not uptodate

1) Adobe Flash Player 10.x 10.0.22.87 (ActiveX)
2) Adobe Flash Player 10.x 10.0.42.34 (ActiveX)

Even though it was "run" i.e. installed previously (instance)

I don't know what to make of it, since I've many profiles with many tabs, etc in Firefox, it'd be very cumbersome to keep reinstalling again and again!

Please let me know what's really the problem and/or solution

Thanks,

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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 17th Feb, 2010 17:53
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Last edited on 17th Feb, 2010 17:57
Hello polari ,

PSI scans your drives and tells you which version(s) of your programmes are loaded .

If it says it has found someting which is potentially vulnerable it usually has (believe me) , how vulnerable/insecure depends ...

As a new member of the forum , to help resolve your problem , here are some instructions to help you first of all get the best out of PSI :-

1)use PSI in "advanced" mode ;
2)in the "settings" tab make sure that the box in the first/upper section is NOT ticked in order to have the maximum info available ;
3)tell us in which "tab(s)" your problem programme is located ;
4)in that tab , click on the + in the box at the left end of the programme , the page will expand ;
5)in the expanded page , tell us what is written in the "installation path" ;
6)in the "toolbox" section , lower down , the link "technical details" should confirm the installation path details ;
7)click on the link "open folder" and you will see more details concerning the location of the "problem" .

Posting these details will help the Forum help you , if/when you have a problem .

You defiitely have two old/out of date/potentialy insecure versions of Adobe Flash Player files 10b.ocx and 10d.ocx somewhere on your computer . PSI will tell you where they are . Let us know what you find .

Where does PSI show/find Firefox ??

Anthony


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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 17th Feb, 2010 23:14
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Hello Anthony,

Thanks for your reply.

1) The installation path for Firefox shows as -- D:\Program Files\Old Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe

Well, [as you can see this refers to "Old Mozilla"] I believe Firefox had created this [old] backup as a part of going to next version, i.e., 3.5.x --> 3.6 automatically. So, it seems PSI scan flagging the backup installation, even though the active installation is current 3.6ver.

2) Re. the Flash the installation paths show as --
C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\Flash10b.ocx
C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\Flash10c.ocx

But when I ran the "solution wizard" it downloads and runs -- install_flash_player_ax.exe -- identical one for both of them! But then, the installation it does is also SAME in both cases -- ...\...\Flash10e.ocx !!

This means the solution wizard never installs the Flash10b.ocx or Flash10c.ocx.
Therefore, they get flagged again forever! I don't know whats' causing this!?

Please let me know. Thanks



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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 17th Feb, 2010 23:50
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Last edited on 18th Feb, 2010 00:01
Hello polari ,

PSI scans all your drives and reports programme versions without judging their relevance ; as I said that depends and is for you to decide , with help from the Forum if you need it :)

So what is your "D" drive used for ?? Is it your main drive or is it purely a back-up drive or partition ?? I don't have an "Old Mozilla Firefox" folder on my XP system . Have you recently upgraded or reinstalled your Windows system ?? Do you need these old (possibly installation) files ??

As regards Adobe Flash Player files the up to date ActiveX is 10e.ocx in version 10.0.45.2. ;earlier numbered/lettered versions are vulnerable and pose a potential security problem and are thus signalled by PSI . The old .ocx files are not removed from the Macromed folder by the Flash installer if they are in use (and therefor locked) when you run the latest installer . PSI and many Messenger programmes use the Flash ActiveX file.

This thread explains the situation in some detail and suggsts methods to remove the old .ocx's . It is worth looking at or history is likely to repeat itself :-

http://secunia.com/community/forum/thread/show/313...

Ask if anything is not clear .
Anthony

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 18th Feb, 2010 00:30
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Thanks, Anthony, for your reply.

Well, the D: drive (partition) is meant to be for User Data and mostly all Applications. So, Firefox is installed on D: However, I didn't intentionally created the backup. When Firefox alerted me of availability of new 3.6 version, I just followed the Firefox update sequence. As far as I remember it didn't even ask if I'd like to keep the old version, though I can't be sure of that.

So, in this case does this (flagging of old version by PSI) matter? just ignore it? since the backup is never active!?

Re. the Flash, thanks for the link to rid of old ocx's.
I think the relevant link to accomplish this (clean and complete un-installation) is given by Adobe itself -- http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html

ok, I've not completed this as of now, since in my case it would take several passes to accomplish it. I'll do it later on, at the end of the day!


Thanks again,
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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 18th Feb, 2010 00:41
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Last edited on 18th Feb, 2010 00:42
Very late here for me on CET , so I'll get back to you tomorrow re Firefox ; no rush there .

Use the Flash uninstaller as per your link (read all the notes and cross fingers , smile nicely , etc. :)) and then reload ; you'll also need the NPAPI plug-in if you have any other browsers , as in Firefox , ActiveX is IE only .

Anthony

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
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Hi Anthony,

Thanks for a quick reply.

Are you forewarning of Adobe's stubborn, hardy old ocx's ??
Thanks, I hope my cool and wits last long enough to see them go away ! :))

I don't really have any other browser, I used to have Opera, but I uninstalled sometime back as I was not using it much. Which API is NPAPI you're referring to?

Please let me know. ok, thanks again.



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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 18th Feb, 2010 11:33
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Hello polari ,

Old .ocx's are easy(ish) if you follow the rules and make sure no programme which uses Flash AcyiveX is running ; this incldues exit via the tray icons :eg:PSI. All the .ocx's seem to lock up as one :((

Flash NPAPI is the current name for the old General Plug-In and is called that by PSI and is for all non IE browsers ;e: Firefox :-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPAPI

Ref your "D" drive :

I'm devoutly non techie , so bear with me , am i to understand that all your applications are in just the one Program Files folder on D and this is not a back up for a Program Files folder on C ?? If so , then D is not simply a back up and the files are accesible and poentially vulnerable.

Why do you want an insecure version of Ff anyway , better to have an up to dateversion of 3.5.x Anything not working in 3.6. ref add-ons are still in the ->tools -> add-ons and greyed out (on my PC) and profiles are held separate (so I'm told :)) and are not interesting to PSI .

If you don't want to delete the old Ff , you could hide it by a name change :eg : add _old after .exe to the file name .

Let me know how you get on or where I have not been clear/correct .

Anthony

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 18th Feb, 2010 22:34
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Last edited on 19th Feb, 2010 03:09
Hi Anthony,

Thanks for the reply.

OK, then NPAPI is something part of Firefox, as I can't see anything with that name in the list of Add ons/extensions or plug ins. Besides, PSI has not flagged anything like NPAPI. So, no concern, right?

Re. D: drive. Well, I'd like to clarify to you that - when I said mostly all apps are installed on D:, yes, I meant the apps installed in the folder D:\Program Files\ are current and active. I didn't imply somehow D: was like a backup for apps installation. When I said 'mostly all' I was only referring to the fact some apps such as Windows Media Player, Flash, or some of those apps chose themselves to got installed on C: i.e., in C:\Program Files\, along with whatever those needed to be in C:\Common Files\, etc. This separation helps me to if ever reinstall windows OS, I could do so fresh installation on C: without disturbing any of files on D: I know, some or many apps may need re-installation, which I would do on case by case basis. At least, I don't need to start with a 'blank slate'.


Now, re. Old Firefox folder, it has been a long time since I started saving many profiles. When I consulted Firefox to how to save bookmarks, it was a hassle to create or use bookmarks. Another way was to save everything about settings including bookmarks is to create multiple profiles, which doesn't require to deal with manual file juggling. So, in this context I followed their instructions to name some folders (I don't remember which ones) as 'Old'. Anyway, your suggestion to prefix as _Old, I think is a good idea, I'd do that try again.

Thanks again,

---added an update---

OK, Flash ocx's problem is now fixed, done!

Firefox's "Old Mozilla Firefox" folder problem also got fixed;......but..... only gone from the list in "insecure" list.

However, it is still flagged in "secure browsing" tab entry as "insecure" with a following message link in "SAID" column --

http://secunia.com/advisories/38608/

and STATUS says -- insecure, no solution :(( Is this something specific in my case?? or the Firefox 3.6 is considered as unsafe as the message implies ??

What would you recommend ??

Thanks.



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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 1st Mar, 2010 20:30
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Hi Anthony,

I've not heard from you, so far....see above

I'm still getting the same (as in my last reply) --

Firefox -- gone from the list in "insecure" list, but still is flagged in --
"secure browsing" tab entry as "insecure".

What would you recommend, just ignore ??

Thanks.
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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 1st Mar, 2010 20:58
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Last edited on 1st Mar, 2010 21:05
Hello polari ,

Strangely enough , I have just described to someone else the problem/difference of simple edits (typos etc) and adding an important update (see my post to @CraigS26 near the end of this thread) :-

http://secunia.com/community/forum/thread/show/363...

So I'm sorry I did not see your important question :((

There is a lot of debate as to whether the SA38608 vulnerability is proven , this thread is worth a careful read :-

http://secunia.com/community/forum/thread/show/358...

All browsers are vulnerable in one way or another , so safe surfing practices are always important for your security . You cannot/should not ignore the warning , Secunia show it for this very reason .

How you deal with it is detailed in the second thread ; my system is my system and I browse in a sandbox , so I use 3.6. ; whereas TiMow with his system prefers to drop back to the up to date 3.5.8 version of Ff .

Only you can decide in this case after considering the info available ; more important is good surfing practices .

Clear as mud , but that's how it is for now .

Ask again if you ar not sure of something.

Anthony

PS: my first edit to this post added the first two words (Strangely enough ..) and a couple more after to make sense of my garbage :)) This PS is my second edit , neither are earth shattering :))

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
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Hi Anthony,

Thanks for the reply.

About ...strange enough... comment, well, ok it seems the bulletin board thread software could do a little bit better job of highlighting an edit, with some different color sub header with a time stamp, or something that would draw the attention, and bring the thread to the top of the list, etc., I think it seems it does bring it to top. Between the ...two strange enough's ...you got caught ! x-)

But, anyway re. the insecure FireFox flag problem -- I tried to make some sense from the thread you referred...but it seems only compounds it by the credibility of the original post by "secunia" with a "secunia official" seal to it.

I can't understand why the original post official "secunia" (or another secunia official) has neither authenticated nor denied it. Yet, you guys are going on and on...?? It makes no sense to me.

OK, now my question is -- what's the difference in the PSI report tabs. The tab "insecure" list doesn't report it, whereas flagged as insecure in the "secured" tab list. Why the inconsistency (what it means, if anything?) in reporting?

Thanks,

ps: The details on it is also scanty with no pointers of possible flaws of security, etc.
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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 1st Mar, 2010 23:33
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Too late for me now , back tomorrow .

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This user no longer exists RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 2nd Mar, 2010 09:05
Hi,

The PSI scans files, not running instances. The version numbers we extract come from the files in the applications folders. Unless a program, while running, modifies it's own version numbers, the version detection should be consistent.

The Insecure tab is for security flaws it's possible for you to patch. Anything showing up there requires your attention. The Secured tab is for software that either has no vulnerabilities, or no patches available for those vulnerabilities.

Hope this helps.
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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 2nd Mar, 2010 10:32
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Hi polari .

Just to finish ; my "reply" post placed me on the thread not the edit . We have to use it as it is , not as we might wish :)

The browser situation is what it is , complex :( nobody but you can decide which one you are/feel/get/gives the most security .

Emil has kindly answered your last question .

For your PS , the detail is in the Secunia Advisory for the programme , usually enough for the "average" PSI home user .

Take care
Anthony


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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
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Hi Emil,

Thank you for the clarification on the PSI reporting, tabs.

When you say -- a vulnerability is detected, but no patch is found -- it's a problem that requires attention of the vendor. This should then be directed (along with details of flag technicalities) to the vendor, in this case Mozilla Firefox, that helps to work on the necessary patch. In the mean time, of course, the end-user can do little but sit tight and wait, and/or take chance with the vulnerability, I guess....?



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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 3rd Mar, 2010 19:54
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Hi Anthony,

Thanks again, for your comments, and the advisories you referred. It was very useful.

>> I feel fairly secure as I run my browsers in a sandbox ("Sandboxie")

Can you please explain what you mean ? I guess, the manner of your usage, settings, etc. of the browser ?

Thanks,
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This user no longer exists RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 4th Mar, 2010 08:45
Hi,

Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Most unpatched applications simply don't yet have fixes for the problem, so there is nothing for us to supply. In a few cases, the links aren't available to us, for various reasons, but in those cases our advisories detail which version you should update to. The advisory should help you decide whether or not you want to take a change (Fx. if the exploit is marked as "Less critical" and "local", you may decide it's not a problem in your case).

You can access our advisories - with full details of why something is being flagged as insecure - by expanding the entry (with +), clicking online references, and selecting Secunia advisory.
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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
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Hello polari ,

The easiest way to find out about sandboxes and "Sandboxie" is to read this article and see if it would suit you :-

http://www.techsupportalert.com/how-to-secure-your...

The whole site gives reliable advice on FREE software .

Hope this is helpful .

Anthony

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 4th Mar, 2010 20:29
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Thanks very much, Emil for your clarification.

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
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Last edited on 4th Mar, 2010 23:12
Hi Anthony,

Thanks for your link on Sandbox.

I guess, above all else, MS's ill-conceived activeX control is a flawed concept at the outset, and is at the root of all vulnerabilities!!

Thanks for every thing, I appreciate your help.

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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 5th Mar, 2010 14:17
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Hello polari ,

Pleased to help .

M$ were warned of the potential nightmare , but carried on with their ActiveX . Whether the alternatives would have held out against the Bleck Hats is another debate .

Take care
Anthony

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 5th Mar, 2010 20:50
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Hi Anthony,

I appreciate your 'objectivity' in the matter -- as no one could in general, certainly predict outcome of other possible alternatives.

However, on the other hand, if the alternative(s) were meant to "selectively open a shut, well secured, door" rather than trying to patch up endlessly a "fully open, unsecured, or in fact an inviting door (for criminals)" - which is what an ActiveX is; alternative(s) were easy choice! (Then) Netscape had a better alternative.

Today's colossal lost productivity in fighting against cyber insecurity and the "distrust by default" is an un-winnable war, would've been better utilized, even if part of it lost in ensuring security, definitely not worse of.

For instance, I went through your link on Sandboxing programs, it seems all of them, one way or other lead to new problems like printing, or inaccessible (USB) ports or devices, or saving/ recovering downloaded files, etc., not to mention the penalty on performance, and may be other unforeseen glitches, etc., etc.!

Yes, I guess we've to live with it :((

Thanks again, for all your help!

ps: there was (an easy) reason for MS's insistence on activeX.
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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 5th Mar, 2010 21:37
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Last edited on 5th Mar, 2010 21:40
Ah yes , polari , M$ !!

PS: I get no slowdown with "Sandboxie" and you plan your downloads to have maximum security .

Anthony :)

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 5th Mar, 2010 22:41
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Hi Anthony,

Good to know that you don't experience any performance degrade with Sandboxie. But, what about the printer troubles - as one (of many Sandboxie's implementations) claim problems with printing within Sandboxie ? Which implementation do you use?

I like to have access with printer, as I use it (a pdf utility) to grab the web content. I don't know if it would work?/? Also, sometimes use USB storage drive, and if that has problems, then I wouldn't like that. But, right now I don't have time to go through with the change knowing the pitfalls.

Thanks,

ps - yes, you're right! MS == M$ icon

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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
Expert Contributor 5th Mar, 2010 23:36
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I don't require printing or need USB storage access on an ad hoc basis, but the more your requirements the more you are likely to need the (nominal) "pay" option of Sandboxie . I'm still at KISS level :)

I was looking for a Steve Gibson article from 2000/2001 or so where he "foretold" the ActiveX misery to come ; found lots of other stuff including that he is a big fan of "Sandboxie" . Like all potentially "good" stuff , you have to check it out yourself and see if it suits your discipline .

Take care

Anthony

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
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Hi Anthony,
Well, that's each ones' choices, is also the basis for their own browsing experience, needs, and likings. One always KISS's ones' own likings, is it not? :)

Don't you like to 'save' a web page content for a later/offline use ? One simple way is using the good-old method, copy-paste into a doc file/open office doc sheet, has some restrictions, sometimes. Another way, I guess, I used to do is 'saving' as is in a .html, .aspx, etc., format which usually always ends up with some problems as it depends on online refresh. So, capturing it (for offline use) is print (pdf) doc. It's direct, simple, and easy. Same goes with USB drive access, to add mobility to the file(s) I save from websites, but it can also be done later on, not so critical.

Let me know which Sandboxie (among many implementations) do you use?

Also, which of the two IE7, IE8 is the best - safe and fast ?

Thanks,
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Anthony Wells RE: running instance vs. installation
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Hello polari ,

I use Ronen Tzur's latest (free) version 3.44 of Sandboxie found here :-

http://www.sandboxie.com/

Downloading in the Sandbox is not a problem and you can check the integrity of the download , transferring an item to the same location on your HDD is straightforward , you just have to remember to do it :))

There is a very good FAQ and Forum to answer all your queries .

IE8 will not load to my XP and I only use IE7 for M$/Windoze updates , however , I am "told" IE8 is considerably more secure than IE7 .

All browsers are vulnerable :(( ; you need to use safe browsing techniques .

Take care
Anthony

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polari RE: running instance vs. installation
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Last edited on 9th Mar, 2010 22:54
Hi Anthony,

Thanks. Yes, I saw FAQ's, where there is also a list of "known conflicts" --
http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php?KnownConflicts

In it, it lists a few specific printers having problems with, which is why I thought there could be a problem with print/pdf exporter programs. Of course, I'd know only after I use Sandboxie. I'll try it out later on.

On one of my another PC, I've IE6 that came with XP and have not tried to updated it to IE7 or 8. I hardly use IE, as I've switched over to Ffox (3.6, the latest, on all my computers). So, I guess I should have asked you to compare all the three IE6, 7, and 8, on a XP system. Since IE7 has been around for a couple of years, now is it good idea to go for it, anyway?

Thanks again,




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This user no longer exists RE: running instance vs. installation
Member 10th Mar, 2010 00:02
Last edited on 10th Mar, 2010 00:11 polari, IE8 is more secure than IE7 and way more than IE6.

IE is used in all versions of Windows as the Graphics User Interface (GUI) of Windows Explorer:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Explorer

Try entering C: into IE's address bar to see Windows Explorer open to My Computer Local Disk (C:)

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The Internet has enhanced our lives in nearly every way. However, as more of the things we do every day depend on the Internet, online crime has risen in turn.

Cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated and deceptive methods such as:

Malware - software that a cybercriminal can use to steal your bank account information, track everything you type, send out malicious software or spam, or harm your computer.

Phishing - an attack where a cybercriminal pretends to be a legitimate organization, such as your bank, in order to deceive you into giving up personal information such as credit card numbers and account information.
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(unknown source)
Increased performance
Internet Explorer 8 includes many performance improvements that contribute to a faster, more responsive web browsing experience in the areas that matter most. Internet Explorer 8 starts quickly, loads pages fast and instantly gets you started on what you want to do next by using a powerful new tab page. In addition, the script engine in Internet Explorer 8 is significantly faster than in previous versions, minimizing the load time for webpages based on JavaScript or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX).
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer...

From http://www.techsupportalert.com/how-to-secure-your...
Good Safe Computing Practices

1. Ensure you keep Windows and MS Office (if you use it) completely up-to-date by applying the latest fixes from the Microsoft Update Service. Make sure the automatic update settings are Automatic (or at least not turned off).



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