On Wednesday, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Team blog announced new security features within the upcoming release of IE8 Beta 2. Eric Lawrence wrote “As an end-user, simply upgrade to IE8 to benefit from these security improvements. As a domain administrator, you can use Group Policy and the IEAK to set secure defaults for your network. As web-developer, you can build upon some of these new features to help protect your users and web applications.”
Over the past few years, cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks have surpassed buffer overflows to become the most common class of software vulnerability. XSS attacks exploit vulnerabilities in web applications in order to steal cookies or other data, deface pages, steal credentials, or launch more exotic attacks.
IE8 helps to mitigate the threat of XSS attacks by blocking the most common form of XSS attack (called “reflection” attacks). The IE8 XSS Filter is a heuristic-based mitigation that sanitizes injected scripts, preventing execution. Learn more about this defense in David’s blog post: IE8 Security Part IV - The XSS Filter.