Microsoft's 'Gazelle' browser to be more secure

Microsoft Research is developing a new Web browser that they say could offer a far greater degree of security than Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox or Microsoft's own Internet Explorer. The browser, called Gazelle, relies on a "browser kernel" (5,000 lines of C# code) that helps enforce security rules to prevent malicious access to the PC's underlying operating system.

Gazelle's Browser Kernel is an operating system that exclusively manages resource protection and sharing across web site principals. This construction exposes intricate design issues that no previous work has identified, such as legacy protection of cross-origin script source, and cross-principal, cross-process display and events protection. "Gazelle is different from some other browsers in that it considers each part of a Web site, such as iframes, subframes and plug-ins, as separate elements. Sometimes those elements can pull in malicious content from other Web sites. Google's Chrome runs a Web page and its elements in a single process."

News source: Microsoft Research.
Download: .pdf Paper.

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16 Comments

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I would hope Microsoft would pursue both avenues. There is a place for both extremely secure (and limited openness) and extremely open (with limited security). Then all they would need to do is strip IE out of the base install so admins can choose which product to deploy in their environment.

From reading the research paper, it seems the only thing it has going for it in compared with the most secure of todays browsers is super strict iframe /object/embed rules.

Its also a dog at the moment, prototype or not. Why would you write the Browser Kernel in C# when it has to interop with a non-mananged HTML renderer (in this case IE). For the Kernel to be used it would have to be re-written in C++ or a managed HTML renderer written for it?? other than for the speed of writing C# of course.

I'm not clued up on writing web browsers, it seems a good idea in principle but the research paper wasn't hardly that revolutionary.

Interesting to say the least, to make a kernel, and a Web Browser.

I'll follow this to see what they have in store.

This is nothing but good news for the consumer. You should be happy that they're putting effort into improving browser technology, not dismissive. The last time MS put a lot of effort into a browser, they wiped the floor with the competition. While integration with Windows helped IE 4 and 5 to win over Netscape 4.x, it's a fact that IE was the better browser then. You might think of IE as an old browser (especially during IE6's lifetime), but IE used to be an innovating browser. It and Netscape were trying to outdo each-other by adding features all the time. Competition is a good thing, and since there was no other browser to compete with IE after 2001 or so, it stagnated. Having MS innovate and compete will help push Mozilla, Safari, Opera and others more and that's a good thing for all users.

so basically just mean taking internet explorer stripping out activex and stuff adding modularity like firefox customization and things to it with chromes management elements to it with a probably boggy "kernel" in the middle of it all.. how innovative :\

Did you read the article? It highlighted the difference between Gazelle and Chrome and talked about how Chrome handles all elements of a page in a single process and how Gazelle would separate them, so that they could be analyzed and you would be protected against them. You're thinking of it in terms of Internet Explorer, but it's not Internet Explorer at all, it's something entirely different.