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The Tangled Web by Michal Zalewski

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Chapter 8. Content Rendering with Browser Plug-ins

Browser plug-ins come in many forms and shapes, but the most common variety give the ability to display new file formats in the browser, as if they were HTML. The browser simply hands over the retrieved file, provides the helper application with a rectangular drawing surface in the document window, and essentially backs away from the scene. Such content-rendering plug-ins are clearly distinguished from browser extensions, a far more numerous bunch that commonly relies on JavaScript code to tweak how the already-supported, in-browser content is presented to the user.

Browser plug-ins have a long and colorful history of security flaws. In fact, according to some analysts, 12 out of the 15 most frequently ...

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