Cool Tech Reviews

Just Cool Tech

October 15, 2007

Inline search for Internet Explorer

I use Internet Explorer as well as Firefox for a variety of reasons and am constantly irritated at IE’s “Find on this page” functionality. You know – where IE pops up that irritating search box, Firefox just adds a search bar to the bottom of the window. In computer science parlance, the IE search box is “modal” and prevents you from doing anything else in that window until it is closed, while the Firefox search bar is “non modal” and allows full functionality of the browser window. However, you don’t need the technical explanation to learn how to fix it.


Posted at 2:30 pm. Filed under Browsers, Companies, Internet, Microsoft

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October 27, 2006

MySpace users, be careful out there!

Netcraft reports that MySpace accounts are at risk from a phishing attack that uses MySpace’s own servers:

Netcraft has discovered that the social networking site, MySpace, appears to have been compromised by phishers who have presented a spoof login form on the main site. This modified login form is designed to submit the victim’s username and password to a remote server hosted in France.

(screen shot)

Netcraft has notified MySpace of the issue, although it currently remains live. Because the fraudulent login page is hosted on MySpace’s own servers and does not exhibit any signs of external content, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) or open redirects, it is convincing and even security-conscious users are at risk of becoming victims. The attack is launched from a profile page, where the username is login_home_index_html, and uses specially-crafted HTML in order to hide the genuine MySpace content from the page and instead display its own login form.

More details and the screenshots by following the link, but Netcraft provides a well-regarded, free browser tool bar for IE and Firefox that prevents phishing vulnerabilities including this one via a community reporting process.

As for MySpace, this is yet another peril of allowing users to have in depth control over their own Web space.

Posted at 10:40 am. Filed under Browsers, Companies, Internet, MySpace, Netcraft, Security, Software

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September 22, 2006

Torpark web browser provides anonymity

Matthew Broersma at ZDNet UK:

Hacktivismo, a well-known group of human-rights advocates and computer security experts, this week officially released a Firefox-based browser designed to allow anonymous Web surfing.

The browser, called Torpark, is a modified version of Portable Firefox, and can be run directly from a USB drive, meaning it can be used on public terminals in cybercaf├ęs. The browser creates an encrypted connection to the TOR (The Onion Router) network, which supplies a succession of different IP addresses. The browser is available here.

“Torpark causes the IP address seen by the Web site to change every few minutes, to frustrate eavesdropping and mask the requesting source,” said Hacktivismo in a statement. For example, a user could be in London and Web sites would see an IP address from a university in Germany, or other addresses belonging to the TOR network.

The browser is the work of Hacktivismo, which operates under the aegis of the influential hacking group the Cult of the Dead Cow. Developers said the browser is different from other anonymous browsers, such as Anonymizer or SecretSurfer, in that it doesn’t cost anything and is small and portable.

There’s more on The Onion Router Network here and as always, you need to have some idea of what is really going on:

The Torpark browser uses encryption to send data over The Onion Router, a worldwide network of servers nicknamed “Tor” set up to transfer data to one another in a random, obscure fashion.

Internet traffic, such as Web site requests, carries information on where it came from and where it’s going. But that’s muddled using Tor, which has been endorsed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and is hard to trace back to a source.

One minor downside is that surfing with Torpark is slower than with a typical browser over the same connection.

Torpark cautions that data sent from the last Tor server to the Web site is unencrypted. Since only the user’s connection is anonymous, Torpark advises that sensitive data such as username and passwords should only be used when the browser displays a golden padlock, a sign that a Web site is using encryption.

Not everyone needs anonymous browsing but for those that do, Torpark is an excellent option.

Posted at 1:57 pm. Filed under Browsers, Freebies, Internet, Privacy

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