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New or obscure web browsers 4x3 (rcsi draft 6)


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When and why to stray from Chrome, Edge, or Firefox, some programs and extensions to support your Internet experience, and the increasing complexity of the dangers of going online.

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New or obscure web browsers 4x3 (rcsi draft 6)

  1. 1. New and/or Obscure Web Browsers (and related software) RCSI 7pm 4/10/18 Mark S. Zinzow
  2. 2. Web Browser Family Trees Trident* KHTML / WebKit / Blink* * Browser Layout Engines Gecko Goanna Servo*
  3. 3. Browser Layout Engines “A web browser engine, also called a layout engine, is a computer program that renders web pages. It is not a stand-alone program but a core component of larger programs, primarily web browsers. … Trident is the layout engine of Internet Explorer, also used by Microsoft Outlook and other Windows applications. Microsoft now uses the newer EdgeHTML engine in its Edge browser. Gecko, the Mozilla project's layout engine, is used by the Firefox browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client, and the SeaMonkey internet suite. Goanna is a fork of Gecko used by the Pale Moon browser. [Firefox Quantum leverages the concurrency of Rust and high-performance components of Servo to bring more parallelization and GPU offloading to Firefox.] KDE created the KHTML engine for use in its Konqueror browser. Apple forked KHTML make the WebKit engine for its Safari browser. Google originally used WebKit for its Chrome browser but now uses its own fork called Blink. The Opera browser also uses Blink; previously, it used its own Presto engine.” [ /Quantum]
  4. 4. Chromium What’s the Difference Between Chromium and Chrome? by Chris Hoffman on February 24th, 2017
  5. 5. Chromium Based Browsers With Extra Features browser-alternatives/#the-browsers Vivaldi - reintroduces many of the features (like tab stacking) and functions removed from Opera. Yandex - DNSCrypt sends and receives encrypted requests from a DNS server, Antishock blocks fraudulent or unpleasant ads and popups, Ebook viewer can read epub, fb2, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, rtf as well as pdf. Cent - QR code generator in address bar, download video/audio, Memory optimizations, Custom stylesheet, Scrollable tab bar. Opera - Built in ad blocker & VPN! Opera Turbo pre-compresses pages on Opera servers, "Download Chrome Extension" Extension to use Chrome extensions. Slimjet - Special version available for Windows XP and Vista users, ad blocker, video downloader/Screencastify crippleware, tracking prevention with social network javascript and Google ad blocking, Smart form filler, Auto refresh… UC - Often three or four major versions behind the current Chromium (security risk), WiFi hotspot creator (FREE Tethering?), ad blocker, and download manager, auto UI night mode. Sleipnir - Quick security switcher, color coded tab groups, integrated Feed reader. Brave - Ghostery like security/privacy panel blockchain micro payments Epic - Built in US encrypted proxy, umbrella ad blocking and privacy on/off button. Avant Ultimate - a triple engine browser, like Lunascape. Citrio - Downloads manager supports torrents and magnet links, speed boost, and resume failed connections.
  6. 6. Issues: Privacy, Security, Features Why You Shouldn’t Use (Most) Alternative Browsers Based on Google Chrome Browserscope is a community-driven project for profiling web browsers. Private or Incognito Windows aren't really private… Use a VPN!
  7. 7. Epic Privacy Browser
  8. 8. Epic –“Who's Spying on you” Report
  9. 9. Epic – User Friendly Site Controls
  10. 10. Spectre & Meltdown Security Vulnerabilities “Spectre is a vulnerability that affects modern microprocessors that perform branch prediction.[1][2][3] On most processors, the speculative execution resulting from a branch misprediction may leave observable side effects that may reveal private data to attackers. For example, if the pattern of memory accesses performed by such speculative execution depends on private data, the resulting state of the data cache constitutes a side channel through which an attacker may be able to extract information about the private data using a timing attack.” “Meltdown is a hardware vulnerability affecting Intel x86 microprocessors, IBM POWER processors, and some ARM- based microprocessors. It allows a rogue process to read all memory, even when it is not authorized to do so.”
  11. 11. Opera 50 Introduces Anti-Bitcoin Mining Tool Other Distributed Computing applications may be the next wave of online abuses!
  12. 12. Browser as Botnet, or the Coming War on Your Web Browser “Did you know that those pesky banner ads that follow you around the web are often iframes, a special HTML element that allows you to embed web pages into other web pages? That sleazy click-bait photo at the top of your favorite torrent site might not be the innocent .JPG you think it is, but rather a web page in its own right, with the ability to deliver custom JavaScript code that gets executed in your browser.” “...there is nothing stopping a malicious actor from using hundreds of Gigabytes of network data from your cell phone over an LTE connection and racking up a $10,000 phone bill in the process.” “Recent hubbub about the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities and their ability to be exploited via JavaScript is haunting given the success of iframe Internet advertisements as a means of distribution for malicious JavaScript code. Other reports of advertisements using browser form auto-fill features to steal username, password, and credit card information from unsuspecting users scare the pants off of me given what I now know about the scale and reach of these ad networks.”
  13. 13. Brannon Dorsey's Web Torrent bot “The ad ran for 24 hours reaching 180,175 browser clients from 127,755 unique IP addresses. 328.5 KB were uploaded every second by each browser on average, leading to a 702 Mbps upload speed for the entire network.” “Clients had an average seed ratio of 2.24 (106.18 max) and uploaded 25 MB of data each (69.28 GB max). The entire network seeded (uploaded) a whopping 3.15 TB of data in a single day. “… please, please, please BLOCK ADS. If you’ve somehow made it all the way to 2018 without using an ad blocker, 1) wtf… and 2) start today. In all seriousness, I don’t mean to be patronizing. An ad blocker is a necessary tool to preserve your privacy and security on the web and there is no shame in using one. Advertising networks have overstepped their bounds and its time to show them that we won’t stand for it.” “… it [WebRTC] also comes with some significant security concerns. Torrents can be downloaded and uploaded in the background of web pages unbeknownst to users, which can become particularly problematic if the content is illegal or otherwise unwelcome.”
  14. 14. Just connecting to this web site turns your browser into a torrent seeder.
  15. 15. Ad Blockers “Get the anit-adblocker-killer, no more [will] sites tell you to turn off your adblocker, while it still blocks the ads.” → Test your ad blocker here → “Until the ultimate ad blocker is build [sic] we have to work with what we have. If you follow the steps on our website you will be presented the best working top rated and most downloaded free ad blocker online that suits your browser!” Best Ad Blockers of 2018 - Extensions for Chrome, Safari, Firefox and... 10 Ad Blocking Extensions Tested for Best Performance The Best Ad blocker apps for Android to block ads and How to stop pop ups 31 Best Ad Blockers for Chrome, Firefox, Android and iOS in 2017 Google Has Started Removing Ad Blockers from the Play Store [sideloading available]
  16. 16. Script Blockers “The NoScript Firefox extension provides extra protection for Firefox, Seamonkey and other mozilla-based browsers: this free, open source add-on allows JavaScript, Java, Flash and other plugins to be executed only by trusted web sites of your choice (e.g. your online bank).” → ScriptSafe - A Chrome [Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, and Chromium derivatives] extension that gives users control of the web and more secure browsing while emphasizing simplicity and intuitiveness. uBlock – a lean and fast (Chrome, Safari, Firefox) blocker → “Yet another blocker for those who can't stand micromanaging rules etc., but are yearning for something that doesn't eat away at their computer resources” Umatrix – Definitely for advanced users → “uMatrix offers offers a much more granular control of what you allow for a website. And it offers some features - like cookie control, UA switcher, clearing the cache (to get rid of Etags), granular control of behind-the-scene-requests - which uBlock simply doesn't have. On the other hand, uBlock blocks things impossible to block with uMatrix.” … There are many choices, and many reasons to choose different approaches.
  17. 17. Process Hacker Handy tool to sum multi-process browser memory use
  18. 18. Puffin Browser - Windows & Mobile “Puffin's JavaScript engine and cloud computing technology use servers to preprocess and compress web pages, achieving loading times up to 5x faster and saving up to 90% of your bandwidth vs. regular web browsing.” Smallest Memory Footprint by an order of magnitude on Windows!
  19. 19. “All traffic from Puffin app to Puffin server are encrypted. It’s safe to use public insecure WiFi through Puffin.” “Log servers analyze the logs and generate reports. Afterwards, the logs are purged. The reports have aggregated statistical data, which is insufficient to be cross-referenced to identify any individual user.”
  20. 20. Brave Giving Away $5 USD Grants in Tokens Per User on First Come, Time-Limited Basis “Announcing a limited time promotion that grants Brave browser users utility tokens that can be contributed directly to their favorite sites and YouTube channels. Brave browser users will receive promotional Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), which must be used within 90 days, via their Brave wallets after they opt into the offering. Brave users must use the latest desktop browser release (0.19.105) to receive the promotional BAT. The tokens will be released from the User Growth Pool (UGP), which was created during the sale of the utility tokens in May 2017. The UGP consists of 300 million tokens set aside to incentivize users to join the Brave platform. This initial promotion has a cap of 300,000 tokens and it will be distributed to current and new Brave users over the next 30 days, as detailed below (or until the cap is reached). Each grantee will receive the rough equivalent of 5 USD in promotional BAT, which more than covers the current minimum monthly budget of 25 BAT set in Brave Payments, the BAT-based publisher contribution system. If promotional BAT aren’t used within 90 days to support publishers, they will automatically return to the UGP.”
  21. 21. Basilisk Basilisk is a free and Open Source XUL-based web browser, featuring the well- known Firefox-style interface and operation. It is based on the Goanna layout and rendering engine (a fork of Gecko) and builds on the Unified XUL Platform (UXP), which in turn is a fork of the Mozilla code base without Servo or Rust. Basilisk as an application is primarily a vessel for development of the XUL platform it builds upon, and additionally a potential replacement for Firefox to retain the use of Firefox Extensions. The current development version of Basilisk is available for Windows and Linux. On Windows, all versions of Windows starting with Windows 7 are supported. The developers recommend 1 Gigabyte of RAM as a minimum (2 Gigabyte for heavy use scenarios), a modern processor and a dedicated GPU. On Linux, any modern Linux Distribution should do but you should check out the requirements page on the Basilisk website for details on libraries that the browser requires. It should not come as a surprise that Basilisk’s interface looks pretty similar to that of Firefox pre- version 57. It features the same customization options and preferences as Firefox for the most part; and all of these open exactly as they do in Firefox. The browser supports legacy extensions, and you can head over to Mozilla’s AMO site to install them right away in the browser. But the web browser supports WebExtensions as well. Support is experimental right now, and some WebExtension APIs that are Mozilla-specific may not be supported yet. Still, it appears as if Basilisk will support legacy add-ons for Firefox and WebExtensions, and not one or the other. Extensions don’t need to be signed to be installed in Basilisk.
  22. 22. Download Managers 11 Free Download Managers 413 to choose from as of 1/18/18 Xtreme Download Manager (XDM) → uGet - Download Manager →
  23. 23. Browser/Web Annoyances Where have all the scroll bars gone? Google Chrome Thin Scroll Bar - gHacks Tech News Dancing scrollbars in chrome at Broken for 3 years! Top 10 Browser Extensions that Eliminate Web Annoyances Comcast modifies web pages! upsell-me-on-a-new-modem/ HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. Encrypt the web: Install HTTPS Everywhere today. Your examples?
  24. 24. Thank You & Last Notes UZBL Unix browser → Support for Hello discontinued in Firefox 49 | Firefox Help [Alternative WebRTC video chats] RecordRTC | WebRTC Audio+Video+Screen Recording MediaStream Recording | Client-side WebRTC code samples “Seriously, it's uncool to save my search for "red polka dot underwear" and show me ads for them.” Epic new tab