Yahoo! has recently introduced its new browser Axis but that appeared some drawbacks which can cloud the project.
Axis is a new Yahoo! browser that offers faster and smarter search, combining instant results and visual search previews.
This browser is available for PC as well as for iPad and iPhone (as apps). Soon it was expected to make it available for Android. Axis can be described as fully functional browser that synchronizes content on all users’ technical devices if they are signed in. It shows tabbed pages and can go to any web page.
According to Yahoo! representative, this search system tries to make “one step” go-click from the search query to results. Still, other PC search engines and mobile apps, presenting visual results rather than links, have been also appearing earlier but mostly they have failed. However, Axis has appeared and Yahoo! possesses now an essential advantage of scale and greater visibility, comparing to other visual search startups.
Any time being on a certain web site, a user is able to leave the page and see search results in horizontal bar in the background. If a user touches another image, he /she will move to this very page but at the same time he / she will be always able to see the search results on the background that will remain accessible until a user does another search query. So, the necessity to click back in order to see the search results has disappeared.
Axis browser differs much from traditional PC and mobile search. Being not unique, a combination of synching and an ability to operate on different platforms is really useful.
Still, not everything is as perfect as it has been expected. The very news of Axis launch scandal has already appeared. In several hours after the project launch, it was found out that certain closed information had crept in to the network. This closed information endangers users’ safety and it allows any violator to create malicious plug-in under the official Yahoo! software.
Australian entrepreneur Nik Cubrilovic, who was the first to attract attention to the problem of Facebook's tracking cookies last year, became also the first this time to point the problem with certificate, posting about this in his blog. He also has advised users not to install Axis extension until all details.
Nik Cubrilovic has studied the extension’s source code and found there the private certificate that is used by Yahoo! for signing the application to prove its genuineness and unicity. The problem is that a violator can forge a malicious extension that will be verified by Google Chrome web browser as that from Yahoo!.
Such Yahoo! creators’ blunder gives violators wide range of possibilities. The most possible such code usage is apps creation that will track users’ activity in the internet and collect all traffic, including passwords, cookies, sessions, etc.
Yahoo! representatives have officially apologized to all users and have changed the very web search extension that does not include the private half of the security certificate.