Feeds

Microsoft takes Gazelle secure browser on road trip

About that performance...

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft will next month present its browser-as-operating-system project to an international symposium of computer and security experts.

The Microsoft Research team behind Gazelle plans to discuss the architecture and principles behind their baby at the Usenix Security Symposium in Montreal, Canada.

Gazelle is designed to answer the growing problems of security, rendering, and performance caused by the increasing reliance on the browser in the course of day-to-day computer use.

AJAX is widely used by websites, and nowadays, people access multiple sites simultaneously. But AJAX poses a security threat through cross-site scripting, potentially providing hackers with access to a PC, while multiple tabbed browsing can slow performance and cause systems to crash.

Gazelle is a kernel that tries to sidestep these issues by treating the browser as a self-contained operating system. It's designed to protect website instances from each other and from the host machine by managing access to the PC's underlying resources.

Microsoft senior researcher Helen Wang working on Gazelle said Microsoft's work could lead to browsers evolving into multi-principal - translated: multiple website - operating systems. "Web applications would take a giant step forward in functionality and quality."

"I would like to see Web applications achieve function and quality parity with desktop apps," Wang said on the Microsoft Research site. "That's the ultimate goal of this research."

Work from Microsoft Research generally feeds into the company's products. Head of Research Rick Rashid recently noted his early work on data compression, networking, and operating systems went into Windows - an annual, multi-billion-dollar franchise for the company.

This latest work on Gazelle comes as others in the industry are thinking in terms of taking the browser to its next level.

Mozilla Labs last month launched a competition to re-invent the whole idea of tabbed browsing to cleanly and easily create, navigate, and manage multiple websites within the same browser instance. "Today, 20 plus parallel sessions are quite common; the browser is more of an operating system than a data display application," Mozilla Labs said.

Microsoft's early results with Gazelle have been mixed.

A version of the company's Internet Explorer built on Gazelle proved to be slower and use more resources than IE 7 on new tabs for a blank page and for navigating a number of sites. The Gazelle model only beat IE 7 on start-up times. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.