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Malicious Mobile Code by Roger A. Grimes

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Preventing Internet Browser Attacks

There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of malicious code from launching through your browser, although always be aware that the only 100 percent safe option is to remove the browser software from the PC and not use the Internet. The following prevention tips are presented in the order of importance.

Configure Browser Settings and Zones

Internet Explorer has security settings that can be set to minimize the risk of hostile code. I will cover the relevant Java and ActiveX settings in the next chapters.

Internet Explorer security settings

Most of Internet Explorer’s security settings are under Tools Internet Options. There are two tabs that concern us. First choose Advanced, as shown in Figure 9-5.

Advanced options in Internet Explorer

Figure 9-5. Advanced options in Internet Explorer

Under the Advanced tab, the options listed in Table 9-1 can be enabled or disabled and affect browser security.

Table 9-1. Internet Explorer’s advanced options related to browser security

Advanced option

Description

Automatically check for Internet Explorer updates

If selected, whenever Internet Explorer is started, the browser will first log on to Microsoft’s update web site and see if any updates or security patches need to be applied. Nice feature.

Disable script debugging

If unselected, you will be notified about every script error on a web site, which can be a lot. Most people ...

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