Feeds

MS adopts stronger encryption for IE7

Code maker

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft plans to adopt a stronger cryptography protocol in the next version of its web browser software, Internet Explorer 7. IE7 will replace the SSLv2 (Secure Socket Layer) protocol with the sturdier TLSv1 (Transport Layer Security) protocol in default HTTPS protocol settings as a means to provide improved security for ecommerce transactions, according to a posting in Redmond's official IE development blog.

Users of IE6 can manually configure these stronger settings but the changes will mean that more users will be directed towards using the stronger SSLv3 or TLSv1 protocols rather than SSLv2. The change should be seamless for end users but adoption of the stronger encryption protocol by a wider percentage of surfers could create some work for sys admins.

Microsoft reckons that only a "handful of sites" left on the internet require SSLv2. "Adding support for SSLv3 or TLSv1 to a website is generally a simple configuration change," said Eric Lawrence, an IE program manager.

As part of Microsoft's "secure by default" design philosophy, IE7 will block encrypted web sessions to sites with problematic (untrusted, revoked or expired) digital certificates. Users will receive a warning when they visit potentially insecure sites, which users can choose to ignore, except where certificates are revoked. "If the user clicks through a certificate error page, the address bar will flood-fill with red to serve as a persistent notification of the problem," Lawrence explained.

The Beta 2 version of IE7 also changes the way non secure content is rendered in a secure web page. IE7 renders only the secure content by default but it offers surfers the chance to unblock the nonsecure content on a secure page using the Information Bar.

In the same posting, Microsoft also revealed that the new Windows Vista platform will offer several crypto improvements beyond what's offered by IE7. These include support for AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), a strong algorithm recently adopted as a US government standard for electronic security, which offers support for up to 256 bits encryption. Windows Vista will also enables certificate revocation checking by default. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.