On Wednesday, Microsoft announced new security features within the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2. The features are designed to combat the rising tide of drive-by downloads and malicious scripts contained within carefully crafted links embedded in e-mail and Web pages. Most of the new features require systems to be running Windows Vista SP1 or Windows XP SP3.
Perhaps the most anticipated addition is Internet Explorer’s new antimalware protection. Opera 9.5 and Firefox 3 both recently added antimalware protection. Safari has so far not announced plans for similar protection. Using mostly its own antimalware technology, Microsoft will block emerging threats by masking the entire IE 8 browser screen with a warning to users. The addition of malware protection to the existing antiphishing protection will be re-branded as the Microsoft SmartScreen filter.
IE 8 Beta 2 will have a Cross Site Scripting (XSS) filter, preventing scripts within a link from executing on the browser.