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Computer Science Colloquia

Monday, December 9, 2013
Ivan Alagenchev
Advisor: David Evans
Attending Faculty: Kevin Sullivan (Chair)

11:00 AM, Rice Hall, Rm. 204

Master's Project Presentation
ArktikFox - A Browser With Adaptive Security Protections

ABSTRACT

Technologies and quality of implementation vastly differ across websites. This translates to
inconsistency between compatibility and security across the Web. Combining that with users'
tendencies to chose usability over protection means that despite of modern browser features,
users can remain vulnerable to known attacks.

We present ArktikFox – a web browser that aims to overcome the problem of pitting security
against usability by automatically adjusting its protection levels according to website type. It
provides higher-than-default security protections on websites where security is of utmost
importance and intentionally brings security protections to lower levels on non-critical sites with
faulty implementations. The dynamic nature of ArktikFox allows it to maximize both user security
and website usability. Our findings support the claim that users could benefit from a browser with
self adjust protection levels.