Internet Explorer 8 Pre-Released by Microsoft

Dennis Faas's picture

An early release of Microsoft's uber-popular web browser Internet Explorer version 8 (IE8) is now available for download. The Redmond-based company boasts that it's the safest and most secure browser ever constructed, and has included several new features meant to protect users against even the most innovative hacker attacks.

As expected, Microsoft has simply added yet another digit to its browser, dubbing this one simple "IE8".

There are a number of good reasons to invest precious download minutes in Internet Explorer 8; at the top of the list is a special new feature meant to protect against something called a "clickjacking" attack. That's where a hacker sneakily slides a little link into a web page, which upon clicking leads an unsuspecting web surfer to a malicious file download. It's a whole new method of making Internet browsing a pain in the butt, and Microsoft claims IE8 has it beat early on.

Superseding a ClickJack: How so?

According to Microsoft, IE8 allows web sites to protect their users without forcing anyone to download a nagging browser add-on. Although the idea does make web sites more secure, security companies have already pointed out that if a web site doesn't employ the feature it won't do the user any good.

"It doesn't protect consumers," said Robert Hansen, a prominent web security researcher. "It only protects Websites that know about the header and output the header on the pages they want to protect." (Source:

Thankfully, Microsoft's new features don't stop there.

XSS Filter: Anti-malware Detector

Internet Explorer 8 also has something called an XSS Filter, meant to detect whether or not a suspected web site is infected with spyware/malware. Security gurus are, thus far, much more impressed with this little tool.

Serving a similar function is the SmartScreen filter, and InPrivate browsing, which basically wipes out cookies and temporary Internet files from the browser history. (Source:

Also new are features meant to limit the abilities of phishers and anyone interested in using code to write to executable memory space.

Although it doesn't appear to be the perfect web browser quite yet, Microsoft appears ready to once again equip users for their perilous journeys across the webosphere.

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