Opera Patches Browser Flaws
Opera Patches Browser Flaws
By Elizabeth Millard
June 20, 2005 11:45AM
Opera Software updated its browser last week to incorporate several security fixes, just two months after its last major version was released.
Opera 8.01 patches five security issues, with some rated "moderately critical" by security firm Secunia . The flaws included cross-scripting bugs and other problems that could have granted an attacker the ability to access a user's machine.
One of the most compelling new features in the browser is how it handles language downloads, said Berit Hanson, Opera spokesperson.
"The browser actually downloads in 15 languages, and then automatically configures for each user's machine based on their settings," she said. "It's pretty interesting."
Other new features include a "trash can" that saves closed pages and blocked pop-ups during a browsing session.
The company made a separate version of the software available for Mac OS X versions 10.2 and higher on June 16, with improved support for Apple's Human Interface Guidelines. The Mac version touts the same features as the Windows and Linux versions.
Hanson noted that, despite the handful of security issues that were found after version 8's initial release, the browser does have several strong security features built in.
Specifically, it has a field in the interface that indicates the level of a site's security and the certificate owner of a secure site.
"The developers really concentrated on security when updating the features for Opera 8," said Hanson.
Currently, Opera has a modest usage rate when compared with browsers like Firefox and especially Internet Explorer.
About one percent of users employ Opera as their primary browser, according to analytics firm WebSideStory. The browser company says that, as of April, Opera had reached over 5 million downloads.
However, analysts have noted that the appetite for alternatives to IE is growing stronger, which is part of what is driving Firefox's success.
As more users explore the non-IE browser realm, it is possible that Opera, freshly bulletproofed, might garner wider adoption.
I've been using Opera on a regular basis since version 6. I have found it to be fast and robust overall, but there is one feature that I really like about it. You can set it up to save the media files that you download with no further action than just clicking on the file and selecting open in the download dialogue. None of the other browsers I have tried will do that correctly.
Another feature that I really like is the one that freezes a redirect. If the page redirects to something else, Opera allows you to set it to hold before going to the new page. All you get is a built in notification that says something to the effect of, The web page you are going to has redirected to here. You can click on here to continue. Nice way to avoid going somewhere you don't want to.
Last edited by junk0987; 06-20-2005 at 03:57 PM.
Reason: Thought of another feature I like.