Browser Wars: Which browser is most secure?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.03.2010 at 16:24

NSS Labs has published three independent studies on web browser protection against socially-engineered malware. The tests were performed during first quarter of 2009, 3rd quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010.

In all three tests, Internet Explorer 8 was the only browser that improved its block rate test-over-test, successfully stopping 69%, 81%, and 85%. This shows Microsoft’s continuous commitment to strengthen security of our browsing platform against emerging threats.

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As per this independent report, as of today (Q1 2010), Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer 8 is most secure browser that can protect you against socially engineered malware.

Beyond Adsense

by Shijaz Abdulla on 24.12.2009 at 09:16

Did Adsense just blacklist you and deny your payment for no wrongdoing on your part – just because they “think” your account poses a risk to their advertisers? Worry not, there are other decent publisher/advertiser networks, two of which I am using on this blog.

I’ve been doing some research and here are two alternatives to Google Adsense:

1. Clicksor

Clicksor offers webmasters the opportunity to earn more income by simply underlining a selection of clickable text (inline text links) or displaying targeted contextual ads (various sizes of banners) on their websites or blogs. Minimum Payout is $50 and you can receive your payments every 15 days. To register or learn more, click here or the banner below.

 

2. Bidvertiser

Bidvertiser offers site-targeted pay-per-click text ads and image ads. Bidvertiser provide site-targeted placement by asking both advertisers and website publishers to specify categories for their ads and websites. The action is to make sure an advertisement only appear in relevant websites instead of any website that have the same keywords as the ads. Bidvertiser is available for ebay sellers, and has minimum payout of $10 on Paypal and $50 in checks. Bidvertiser makes advertisers bid for space automatically and allows you to sell your ad space automatically to the highest bidder. To register or learn more, click here or the banner below.

 

Good luck monetizing your website/blog!

Mudawanat: Blogging workshop in Qatar

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.12.2009 at 19:30

Mudawanat: All About BloggingictQATAR, the Supreme Council of Information & Communication Technology in Qatar, conducted a workshop on blogging today at the Sharq Village Hotel, Doha.

Regional and International experts on blogging shared their views and experience on blogging. The event was attended by local and expatriate bloggers and blogger-aspirants.

The morning session featured keynote speaker Jeremiah Owyang and Ahmad Hamzawi, Head of Engineering for Google Middle East & North Africa. Regional bloggers also shared their experiences and tips for new bloggers.

The afternoon session was split into two separate workshops – one for new bloggers and the other for experienced bloggers. The event gathered good attendance, and the workshops were very interactive.

The speakers were great. I also got a chance to discuss with Ahmad why I think Google Adsense sucks, based on my previous experience – and suggested that Google should be more transparent on how they determine that an Adsense account poses a risk to their business. Of course, I wasn’t expecting a satisfactory answer and didn’t get one either 🙂

One of the many things I liked about Ahmad is that, despite being the Head of Engineering for Google, he runs Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2007 on his laptop, and not Google’s Chrome OS and Google Apps.

The Blogger platform was outshined by WordPress when members of the audience questioned about it and Jeremiah himself explaining why he moved his blog from Blogger to WordPress.

Moving on, I learnt a few important things in today’s workshop.

  • I realized that I was late in understanding the potential of Twitter.
  • I learnt that Disqus could do a better job with comment forms on my blog. Implemented it right away.
  • I need to explore more of Delicious & Technorati
  • I need to read more blogs, and comment on them – need to ‘network’ more with people rather than doing ‘broadcasts’
  • I got insight on the challenges that Arab bloggers face.

Almost everyone who attended got a free copy of the book “Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom” by Matthew Fraser & Soumitra Dutta.

Overall, it was an awesome event and I’m sure everyone benefited from it. If you were one of those who attended the event, please drop a comment!

Adding a Bing box to your blog/website

by Shijaz Abdulla on 21.11.2009 at 00:35

bingYou can add a Bing custom search box on your website over at bing.com/siteowner.

I replaced the default Google-powered search box on my blog with a Bing custom search box today. For a good reason.

My regular readers may have noticed that I changed the URL to my blog about two months ago. I had set a “301 Permanent Redirect” on the previous domain (blog.shijaz.com) which means the old URL will automatically forward hits to the new one on the microsoftnow.com domain.

Today, two months later, Google still hasn’t finished crawling my blog on its new domain! Here’s a simple test: Search for “ribbon interface” on Google with the “site:microsoftnow.com” parameter and you get no direct link to the original post on this blog. Search the same term on Google with the old domain in the parameter (i.e. “site:shijaz.com”) and you get positive results.

Repeating the same test with Bing,  “ribbon interface” on Bing – with “site:microsoftnow.com” gives positive results with the new domain. I guess Bing crawled my site faster than Google :).

I want to give reliable and up-to-date search results on my blog for my visitors, and hence I chose Bing.

Google’s Chrome OS “too cloudy”

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.11.2009 at 23:51

I saw an article on Engadget (“Google’s Chrome OS Revealed”) about Google’s new “operating system”.

Google had a low-key event today to preview Chrome OS, its new operating system based on Linux and the Chrome browser. Things are still pretty early — it’s not even in beta yet, let alone on shipping products — but that’s the first official screen shot right there, and the big features are all roughed out. The entire system is web-based and runs in the Chrome browser — right down to USB drive contents, which show up in a browser tab, and the notepad, which actually creates a Google Docs document.

Looks like something that boots a netbook off an SSD (the OS doesn’t support hard drives) and starts a browser, everything else is “in the cloud”? Not very impressive for an OS, if you ask me.

One commenter on Engadget said it right: “Too cloudy”.

Feeling lucky?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.10.2009 at 05:30

Type “Im not feeling lucky” in Google and hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button.

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Google suggests…

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.09.2009 at 16:25

Inspired by an article in the Telegraph, I decided to give Google another chance:

Yes, I understand that these suggestions are generated based on indexed content, but what the hell, let’s poke some fun.

1. I c…

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Great, can you do that with no helmet too?

2. I like to d…

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I’d say you are!

3. I like to g….

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Watch out!

4. This one’s a favorite. My po…

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A colorful suggestion indeed!

5. My ur…

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6. Can you goo..

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Uh – I think I’m already doing that?!

7. It doesn’t have good things to say about you – or your dog!

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8. Yahoo is…

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Yes, it might.

9. They still don’t like us.

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Synchronizing folders?!? Of all bad things…

10. I haven….

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You’re absolutely right – I’d rather bing.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post! 🙂

The Chrome logo

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.09.2008 at 11:47

Similarity or Co-incidence?

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windows-vista-logo

Chrome is Google’s new browser.

Google + Etisalat = Deadly combination?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 19.05.2008 at 21:37

It must be something to do with the Google-Etisalat combination.

A few weeks ago I reported the Youtube security issue with Etisalat. Here are some other issues that really annoy me.

First:

I randomly get kicked out of http://www.google.com/ for no reason. They say that I’m doing “virus-like activity”. This happens randomly no matter what machine one uses, as long as he is in the UAE. Sometimes you can just get away by entering a few letters to prove that you’re actually human (CAPTCHA). Or you could use Live.com.

But at some other times, you get locked out. Right now, I’m locked out of my own blog, hosted on Google’s Blogger platform!

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Google is sorry. (again)

Has it ever occurred to google, that this false-positive ‘virus-like activity’ may be the reason why they detected fraudulent clicks on my Adsense ads?

Second:

How many of you in the UAE, have seen this happening to Gmail for the past few weeks?

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Forget it – dont even bother to fix your browser cache – its Etisalat’s web cache – again! Following the instructions to clean your browser cache will not help.

Gmail: Lean, Mean Spamming Machine!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.05.2008 at 11:35

A "serious security flaw" in Gmail turns Google’s e-mail service into a spamming machine, according to a recent security report.

INSERT, the Information Security Research Team, has created a proof of concept that exploits the "trust hierarchy" that exists between mail service providers. By exploiting a flaw in the way Google forwards email messages, a spammer can send thousands of bulk e-mails through Google’s SMTP service, bypassing Google’s 500-address bulk e-mail limit and identity fraud protections.

Since email providers like Gmail are "auto-whitelisted" by ISPs and blocklist providers, the spam messages sent from Gmail are not looked upon with suspicion by many anti-spam technologies, which further magnifies the risk.

The INSERT report suggests that it does not require a rocket scientist to exploit this flaw:

In this regard, this document presents a vulnerability report and a proof of concept attack that demonstrate how anyone with no special internet access privileges other than being able to connect to SMTP (TCP port 25) and HTTP (TCP port 80) servers is able to exploit a single Gmail Account in order to be granted nearly unrestricted access to Google’s massive white-listed SMTP relay infrastructure

At the time of this writing, Google has not offered any official comment.

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