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As reported in our last newsflash some sections of our website are effectively unmaintained since April 2013. That temporary measure is largely affecting the sites news sections. However once we brought our new web content management system online, we will continue to publish articles. In the meantime we suggest our dear readers to follow us on Twitter.


Chrome OS and Browser (Part 1)
Written by J.C. Denton   
Monday, 02 January 2012
During the last years Google's WebKit-based browser Chrome from the Chromium software project has become increasingly popular. This article focuses on the inherent security design of the user agent and its interaction with the underlying OS.

The Linux kernel used in (most unixoid operating systems) every single GNU/Linux distribution, including Chrome OS, inherits the traditional UNIX semantics which consists of two basic levels for process execution, file system object permissions and thus access restriction, namely "root" and "non-root". Thereby root processes are allowed to do nearly everything on the system, whereas non-root processes are limited in their executional behavior. Without architectural concepts like MAC (Mandatory Access Control) this is the way one has to run software on such an RBAC (Role Based Access Control) based system. That seems to be a simple solution to most use-cases regarding process execution and object access restriction, but it also means that any given program which requires a high level of privileges (root privileges) must be made root. That can ether be achieved by direct execution with root privileges or for e.g. by execution as a different user using Dennis Ritchie's disputable SUID mechanism.
Last Updated ( Monday, 02 January 2012 )
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Questionable IE 8/9 TUV Certification
Written by J.C. Denton   
Monday, 06 June 2011
In an effort to get one of its most popular software more widely accepted, Microsoft entrusted TÜV TRUST IT Ltd. from Austria to determine the security characteristics of the Internet Explorer 8 and 9 – with questionable results.

Company representatives reported about a check of Internet Explorer 8, on Microsoft's official website microsoft.com, which took place from Dec. 2009 to March 2010. It has been pointed out repeatedly that a neutral instance had been given the mandate to run this exhausting investigation. According to these representatives data security, privacy and compliance aspects, based on a broad catalog of requirements, have been taken into account. Detlev Henze from TÜV TRUST IT Ltd. finally summed it all up with, quote: "The Internet Explorer 8 convinced us." and further "In comparison to the previous version (Internet Explorer 7) it contains significant improvements in safety and sets the standard for browser security." Later, in May 2011, a news report about the successful certification of Internet Explorer 9 also appeared in the media.
Last Updated ( Monday, 06 June 2011 )
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Does Facebook Have 500 Million Users?
Written by J.C. Denton   
Thursday, 03 February 2011
We don't think so. Jason Slater published an article on his website jasonslater.co.uk last year basically telling that, according to Facebook itself, roughly 200 million users log on to their accounts in any given day.

Further he suspects that a number of people have unused accounts registered with Facebook. In pursuance of Mr. Slater's article some others may also have multiple accounts for various different reasons like keeping interests separated from each other or acting within different groups. As a closing quote Mr. Slater says: "I guess it depends on whether you consider a member as being an account that exists on the system or a unique individual?" and finally: "Presently, it is far too easy to create an account as all that is really needed is a valid email address [..]". We think these estimations are correct in general and allegorize an inherent problem to all websites on the internet; especially social community portals (SCP) which allow users to register themselves easily with the system.
Last Updated ( Monday, 07 March 2011 )
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