Understanding the Protected Mode Elevation Dialog

Internet Explorer 7 introduced Protected Mode, a feature which helps ensure that the browser and its add-ons run with a minimal set of permissions. Code running inside the “Low Rights” process doesn’t have permission to write to your user-profile’s folders or registry keys, which helps to constrain the damage if a bad guy manages to…

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The JVM Install Prompt

Many years ago, Microsoft developed an implementation of a Java Virtual Machine to run Java content. Internet Explorer 5 included code that would download and install the JVM (if needed) when a user encountered Java content on the web. After some time, support was discontinued for the Microsoft JVM, and no further updates were made…

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Troubleshooting Authentication with Fiddler

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been exchanging mail with a webmaster (Vladimir) in Russia who reported that his customers were having problems using IE8 on Windows 7 to log into his website. His site uses HTTP Basic Authentication, so users are prompted to enter their credentials using the following dialog: I asked the webmaster to…

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Inline AutoComplete

Internet Explorer 8 removed support for one of my favorite browser features: Inline AutoComplete (IAC) for the address bar. This feature was off-by-default, but for almost a decade the first thing I did when setting up a new computer was enable IAC using the checkbox Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Use inline AutoComplete.  For IE8, we introduced a new…

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Security Intelligence Report Volume 7 Released

Security researchers at Microsoft release a biannual “Intelligence Report” containing statistics about the software-related security incidents over the past 6 months. This report is called the SIR, and the latest version can be found here. There are many interesting charts and data points in the report, but I have two favorites from the latest edition. As browser…

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