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Search Engine Default

  • ...
    Sure I understand phishing and other techniques. but past is the past. Name me specific problem now, in current implementation? And it's problem of implementation of possibility to change default search engine. Not of option to change engine itself. That's difference. You're not giving me reason why I cannot change engine. Only that there's need to be secure mechanism to be able to do it. Like in other browsers...

    Uhmm... just to name the ones first appearing from Dec 2013 to April 2014, consider the following list (and these are just part of the ones starting with numbers or the letter "a" and don't even include all the other letters of the alphabet at the beginning of their common names). There are literally many hundreds currently extant "in the wild" at the present moment:

    Some of these piggyback or are bundled with software downloads, some appear as part of malware infection kits. Note that most exploits or search-hijackers attack IE, Firefox, and Chrome variants. The threat is very current and very real. And "other browsers" are, indeed, being hijacked continually. One needs only to participate in security forums to discover that reality.

    As to blocking the threats, both in Opera and other browsers, there are various techniques that can be used, but they aren't equally capable of being implemented in all browser architectures, their "immunities" vary, and they all take considerable time and effort to insert into browser code without adverse side effects.

    Even if only one of the many hundred hijackers had the capacity to alter the default search engine (eg: Anasayfa), that would create untold grief for users who were hit by it, not technically sophisticated enough to know how to reverse its effects, and unable to properly search for help.

  • @blackbird71

    I don't know if you noticed it but Stealth789 added to the Suggestion Box as a wish list matter more default search engines.

    https://forums.opera.com/topic/3431/option-to-edit-default-search-engines/1

    I very much appreciate your knowledgeable comments on the significant risks involved. I took the liberty there of cross-referencing in that forum at least links to your posts here. Feel free to comment there directly if you're inclined.

  • ...
    Sure I understand phishing and other techniques. but past is the past. Name me specific problem now, in current implementation? And it's problem of implementation of possibility to change default search engine. Not of option to change engine itself. That's difference. You're not giving me reason why I cannot change engine. Only that there's need to be secure mechanism to be able to do it. Like in other browsers...

    Uhmm... just to name the ones first appearing from Dec 2013 to April 2014, consider the following list (and these are just part of the ones starting with numbers or the letter "a" and don't even include all the other letters of the alphabet at the beginning of their common names). There are literally many hundreds currently extant "in the wild" at the present moment:

    IE: CVE-2014-1776
    IE,FF,Chrome: 16Start.com
    IE,FF,Chrome: 1Place.org
    IE,FF,Chrome: 22find virus
    IE,FF,Chrome: ADS.ADK2.com
    IE,FF,Chrome: AllMyWeb.com
    IE,FF,Chrome: Anasayfa.im
    IE,FF,Chrome: Awesomehp.com
    ...

    Some of these piggyback or are bundled with software downloads, some appear as part of malware infection kits. Note that most exploits or search-hijackers attack IE, Firefox, and Chrome variants. The threat is very current and very real. And "other browsers" are, indeed, being hijacked continually. One needs only to participate in security forums to discover that reality.

    Ok, got it, that problem is actual. But it's question of technical implementation or securing this setting. Not question if Opera will allow us to use any search engine. And I never got any malware of this kind. I use properly set Firewall and Antivirus. And don't download SW from strange sites. Even using Sandboxing / Virtualization when needed. So I'm not afraid of this.

    And if user knowledge has to be restriction here, allow it at least in power user settings is enough. Or allow us to change providers in filesystem. Allow any way. I think, that user that want to change default search engine, is capable of do so in other ways, and has enough knowledge to be safe. At least same way like he is with any search engine. So when Opera selects "safe" engines it's not solution.

    And power users are asking for safe engines like StartPage, Ixquick and DuckDuckGo. So why not add these? They're safer than engines provided by Opera (some doesn't even use HTTPS).

    As to blocking the threats, both in Opera and other browsers, there are various techniques that can be used, but they aren't equally capable of being implemented in all browser architectures, their "immunities" vary, and they all take considerable time and effort to insert into browser code without adverse side effects.
    Even if only one of the many hundred hijackers had the capacity to alter the default search engine (eg: Anasayfa), that would create untold grief for users who were hit by it, not technically sophisticated enough to know how to reverse its effects, and unable to properly search for help.

    Sure but Opera allows also extensions to change default provider (or override it). So this whole restriction idea is just strange in way it is now. Because for power user any of this argument is just cliche about security issues. In every other browser I change default engine. Also Tor Browser uses StartPage as default. So please don't try to tell me there's no way to allow us to change engine. I think when there's good will, there's always a way...

  • I defer to Opera on this. I trust them more than any user who says they have technical knowledge, and to hell with what the developer of the browser thinks. I do not want some user to push and bully Opera into providing a feature that is dangerous to the vast bulk of users, who would rather be safe than sorry. Now you say: "Ok, got it, that problem is actual. But it's question of technical implementation or securing this setting. Not question if Opera will allow us to use any search engine. And I never got any malware of this kind. I use properly set Firewall and Antivirus. And don't download SW from strange sites. Even using Sandboxing / Virtualization when needed. So I'm not afraid of this."

    Maybe you're not afraid of this, and have technical knowledge, but other are. Most users have no idea what some of the technical precautions that you take even mean. Now what is it that blackbird71 said about the state of security (including those other browsers that you tout as models because they permit all of the search engines): "The threat is very current and very real. And "other browsers" are, indeed, being hijacked continually. One needs only to participate in security forums to discover that reality."

    And by the way, if people were trying to hijack the Opera search engines, would it surprise anyone if they came into the Opera forum, and tried aggressively to encourage Opera to expand search engines, so that it would be easier to hijack them? The reality is that anyone who has an interest in hijacking an Opera web search engine would have an interest in setting up an identity in the forum (they'd probably be relatively new to the forum), and in aggressively pushing Opera to have more search engines (because Opera cannot protect them as well).

    I believe this is an issue where all of us in the Opera community need to be on guard.

  • I defer to Opera on this. I trust them more than any user who says they have technical knowledge, and to hell with what the developer of the browser thinks. I do not want some user to push and bully Opera into providing a feature that is dangerous to the vast bulk of users, who would rather be safe than sorry. Now you say: "Ok, got it, that problem is actual. But it's question of technical implementation or securing this setting. Not question if Opera will allow us to use any search engine. And I never got any malware of this kind. I use properly set Firewall and Antivirus. And don't download SW from strange sites. Even using Sandboxing / Virtualization when needed. So I'm not afraid of this."

    I don't need anyone to trust me or my knowledge. I'm not forcing or recommending anyone to change/use specific search engine. I want to be able to choose one for myself, and for other users to be free to choose one for themself if they need it!

    Maybe you're not afraid of this, and have technical knowledge, but other are. Most users have no idea what some of the technical precautions that you take even mean. Now what is it that blackbird71 said about the state of security (including those other browsers that you tout as models because they permit all of the search engines): "The threat is very current and very real. And "other browsers" are, indeed, being hijacked continually. One needs only to participate in security forums to discover that reality."

    Like I said, I'm not choosing what to use for somebody else. I'm not deciding for somebody else. And there's always a way how even standard user will use Opera's recommended engine, but even power users will be able to choose what they want. And I used browser as other options, as something to be able to compare with. And also Opera 12.17 is part of this group!

    And by the way, if people were trying to hijack the Opera search engines, would it surprise anyone if they came into the Opera forum, and tried aggressively to encourage Opera to expand search engines, so that it would be easier to hijack them? The reality is that anyone who has an interest in hijacking an Opera web search engine would have an interest in setting up an identity in the forum (they'd probably be relatively new to the forum), and in aggressively pushing Opera to have more search engines (because Opera cannot protect them as well).
    I believe this is an issue where all of us in the Opera community need to be on guard.

    For hijacking you mean what? Change engine for my own? Because it's not hijacking search engine that Opera choose. It's choosing different one. So I'm the one responsible here.

    And by aggressively you mean what? Did I use any harsh word? I'm not sticking to the theme or what? I think I'm man of reason. And sure I need good reasons for me to let thing go. I'm trying to find a way. So please don't move topic to me.

    And sure you can argument that I'm new in forum. Or that my skin has some color, or to whatever you want. But it would be better to argument on debate, and reasons there. Not try to use "argumentum ad hominem". And I'm sorry if you feel way of forcing. But I'm not the side that is forcing me to something. I'm just trying to use arguments from my side.

  • You say: "I want to be able to choose one for myself, and for other users to be free to choose one for themself if they need it!" What you want, and what get are different things, when you download and install a "free browser." Opera has a right not to put something out there that they deem UNSAFE.

    You say: " I'm not choosing what to use for somebody else. I'm not deciding for somebody else." If Opera deems it unsafe, they don't have to permit even you to use it. I mean, you could come right back and sue them. And how do they know how old you are. 🙂 You might be a teenager. And even if you're an adult, Opera does not have to permit you to do something they deem unsafe.

    I think by "aggressively," I mean you're pushing very hard for having the right to the extra engines, that Opera deems unsafe, and where there have been very serious security problems, involving hijacked search engines for all browsers. And why, I wonder are you pushing so hard? Is it that you cannot type one tiny letter, before doing a search? I cannot believe that that is too much for you. The workaround -- typing the one letter, or the separate search bar extension -- is a very miniscule accommodation in the face of a very serious and dangerous problem involving search engine hijackings, that can involve loss of credits cars, identity theft, banks accounts compromised, etc.

    Look, when Opera deems additional search engines safe, then I fully favor them! This is one situation though, where I trust them. And as I mentioned, any party wanting to hijack Opera search engines, could easily come into the forum, establish an identity, and aggressively challenge for more engines (because they know, perhaps, that what Opera currently has set up is harder to hijack, but additional engines would be easier to hijack). I know no one personally in the forum, but Opera is an entity that I have dealt with for years. Opera, I trust, more than the advocacy of any other user, on this issue.

  • Have 5 default search engines is unique feature, in the others browsers a malware can install itself, an example is Hao123 and Ask toolbar. So if the devs lock the default search engines for our safety, I support them 🙂

  • You say: "I want to be able to choose one for myself, and for other users to be free to choose one for themself if they need it!" What you want, and what get are different things, when you download and install a "free browser." Opera has a right not to put something out there that they deem UNSAFE.

    So are we talking about security, or about money now? Because sure every browser is "free:. It's model of browser business. Then we can talk about royalties and so on. But then it's different story. So don't use this as an argument, because it's not totally correct. There are reasons and decisions why it's better to made it "free".
    And we're not talking about putting there something. Opera don't need to put other engine there.

    You say: " I'm not choosing what to use for somebody else. I'm not deciding for somebody else." If Opera deems it unsafe, they don't have to permit even you to use it. I mean, you could come right back and sue them. And how do they know how old you are. 🙂 You might be a teenager. And even if you're an adult, Opera does not have to permit you to do something they deem unsafe.

    So question is again. What exactly is unsafe? Using different engine? Or option to be able to change engine? As I read before, problem was with security. So reason was, it's possible for malware to change engine. So if it'll be secure to change it then it's ok? Secure? Or still it's insecure, because Opera knows, what engine I'll add, and? And there are also settings, experimets and power users settings. If these can be safe, I think (if security is reason here) it's possible to made this option enabled.

    And sue them? So every browser company has to have many layers just to deal with this kind of mess? It's like someone in Firefox uses will sue them because they used advanced settings. Then it's even possible for any setting. Ok, I got this as an option. But I don't think that's main reason here.

    I think by "aggressively," I mean you're pushing very hard for having the right to the extra engines, that Opera deems unsafe, and where there have been very serious security problems, involving hijacked search engines for all browsers. And why, I wonder are you pushing so hard? Is it that you cannot type one tiny letter, before doing a search? I cannot believe that that is too much for you. The workaround -- typing the one letter, or the separate search bar extension -- is a very miniscule accommodation in the face of a very serious and dangerous problem involving search engine hijackings, that can involve loss of credits cars, identity theft, banks accounts compromised, etc.

    I'm using space for arguments here. I still hope I'm arguing without attacking someone directly. If you fill like that, just let me know, where I crossed boundaries here! I have no intention to be rude to anybody! It's just how I work. Arguing as much as possible. To understand right reasons, and try to make some kind of compromise.

    And sure now it all seams, like money from Google are the main reason. Ok, if this is main reason. At least I got it, and can understand. Somehow ;).
    But it's not about one letter. It's about why this way. You say that contract is stated, that Opera cannot allow other engine as default? Because that's still not true, when you can choose Wikipedia. And let's say that someone made extension, that allows you to use any search engine from address bar. Will Opera allow it? If not, will they allow you to use it if it's outside address bar in extension windows? Becase I don't get point, where it's OK, and where it's not. Because for example is it now possible for malware to change my custom search engines?

    Look, when Opera deems additional search engines safe, then I fully favor them! This is one situation though, where I trust them. And as I mentioned, any party wanting to hijack Opera search engines, could easily come into the forum, establish an identity, and aggressively challenge for more engines (because they know, perhaps, that what Opera currently has set up is harder to hijack, but additional engines would be easier to hijack). I know no one personally in the forum, but Opera is an entity that I have dealt with for years. Opera, I trust, more than the advocacy of any other user, on this issue.

    Even if you won't believe me, I'm not trying to harm Opera in any way. I'm long time user. In old Opera wasn't so hard to have option like this. So I don't get it, why is it so big deal now. And I'm giving arguments. So any developer can consider it. He doesn't have to implement it. I'm just trying to put some reason here, from my point of view.

    Also big reason is that people after PRISM, and other causes stop trusting Google like it was before. They're more relying on safer privacy. So this is from my point reason why people asks for engines I mentioned. To be safe. So my "initiative" is not to harm opera. But on the other hand feel safe. Sure I can press keys (custom engines). But it would be great if I don't have to.

  • Stealth789

    You're writing forever. What exactly is your agenda? You don't seem to get it? It is is Opera's call. Do you know what the word "defer" means? I defer to the Opera Developer on safety. And not to you!

  • Have 5 default search engines is unique feature, in the others browsers a malware can install itself, an example is Hao123 and Ask toolbar. So if the devs lock the default search engines for our safety, I support them 🙂

    Basically only Google is hardcoded in Opera. Other engines are based on location. So there are more than 5 engines in "basket". If safety is only reason. Ok. At least for majority, that can live with any engine. But still it doesn't overthrow option to safely change them.

  • Stealth789
    You're writing forever. What exactly is your agenda? You don't seem to get it? It is is Opera's call. Do you know what the word "defer" means? I defer to the Opera Developer on safety. And not to you!

    Agenda. I was expecting some of Opera developer or someone to argument on this, as I'm used from other product forums. Sure it's Opera call. But I don't think all questions were answered. And by answer I mean with some rational reasoning. I'm not asking you or anybody to defer. I'm trying to argue why it's not allowed.

  • "They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
    Benjamin Franklin

  • Nice quote, coshoo. Liberty is quite important, but believe me, it is not at issue in taking a free browser. You are mistaken if you deem this a "liberty" issue. And by mixing this issue up with liberty, you do a disservice to liberty, and undermine real liberty issues.

  • Nice quote for sure. And liberty is not important in free browser? Any browser now is free. It's just how it works. It's business model, based on decision.
    And sure forcing us to use some engine, and disallow use what we want is not violating of free to choose?

    If this is about security. So why any of my suggestions are "thrown" away without reasoning? Don't tell me everything is wrong. It's just question if you even try. I understand your status/position here. But there need to be said why exactly this cannot be in any way?

    "A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse."Stephen Dolley Jr.

    But if it's strictly about security. Even so called secure browsers like Comodo Dragon and SRWare Iron (also based on chromium) allows change. SRWare Iron also use DuckDuckGo as default search engine. TorBrowser (based on Firefox) use startpage.

    So if it's about security then Opera can collect any user suggested engines, then review them if they're secure. And then simply add them to default list.

  • All this discussion for what? If you do not like the way Opera manage search engines, just use another one.

  • Do you know, stealth789 what the word "defer" means. Look it up in a dictionary. I DEFER to Opera on this issue. Period. Browser safety is within their jurisdiction. I have no inclination to second guess them on this based on anything you have said.

    As for the liberty quote, it's absurdly out of context. You are given a free browser with certain features. You have paid for it nothing, zero, zip, rien, nada. If you like it fine. If not, as sidneyneto offers, use another browser, where you're happier with how they manage search engines. Liberty suggests rights, and you have no right to utilization of all the default search engines you might like to stay up nights fantasizing about. 🙂 But you can use any search engine you want from the main Address Bar of Opera if you're not too challenged 🙂 to type one letter or two in front of the search query. Really, it's quite easy.

    Now maybe you don't care about the safety of your passwords, your credit cards, your identity, etc. But let me assure you that many others do. It's a vital interest for them. And they want Opera to protect it, as best Opera can.

  • All this discussion for what? If you do not like the way Opera manage search engines, just use another one.

    Sure it's also possibility. I'm just trying to make things better, rather than throwing them away.

  • Well, you've provided your suggestion over in the Suggestion Box forum, so it joins the countless others there for Opera to ponder and digest. Actually, I'd love to see Opera provide a safe way for users to add a custom search engine to the default list, since I use StartPage consistently as default in all my other browsers... but given all the things users would like to see the developers add to the mix, it's anyone's guess where this one ranks on their list of things to do - particularly since one can already install a custom engine and simply use a single-letter shortcut to access it.

  • Do you know, stealth789 what the word "defer" means. Look it up in a dictionary. I DEFER to Opera on this issue. Period. Browser safety is within their jurisdiction. I have no inclination to second guess them on this based on anything you have said.

    And you also don't have own opinion? About what is right? Then this kind of arguments are useless.

    As for the liberty quote, it's absurdly out of context. You are given a free browser with certain features. You have paid for it nothing, zero, zip, rien, nada. If you like it fine. If not, as sidneyneto offers, use another browser, where you're happier with how they manage search engines. Liberty suggests rights, and you have no right to utilization of all the default search engines you might like to stay up nights fantasizing about. 🙂 But you can use any search engine you want from the main Address Bar of Opera if you're not too challenged 🙂 to type one letter or two in front of the search query. Really, it's quite easy.

    Again what about "free" browser. Money comes from searches. Opera knows that it's better use free browser. It's business model. They know they can't make money from browser itself. Any other current browser know it. So why do you use this kind of bogus argument? Money for browser are history. And you're arguing to something off topic rather to something you don't like to.

    And example of engines proves, that your primary point is not security itself. You didn't gave any reason, how this can be done safely. Only that it cannot be, just because!

    Now maybe you don't care about the safety of your passwords, your credit cards, your identity, etc. But let me assure you that many others do. It's a vital interest for them. And they want Opera to protect it, as best Opera can.

    I care much about my privacy. Just Opera ignores parts of it. But sure I won't save any password in Browser... And setting default search engine has nothing to do with it. It's question of allover security, not search engine.

  • Well, you've provided your suggestion over in the Suggestion Box forum, so it joins the countless others there for Opera to ponder and digest. Actually, I'd love to see Opera provide a safe way for users to add a custom search engine to the default list, since I use StartPage consistently as default in all my other browsers... but given all the things users would like to see the developers add to the mix, it's anyone's guess where this one ranks on their list of things to do - particularly since one can already install a custom engine and simply use a single-letter shortcut to access it.

    This one is question of allowing user use custom default search engine. Be free to choose what I want. Don't let anyone to force me to use engine they think is right. And you cannot simply downplay this fact for option to pressing one more key. This as it's question of option is also question of principle how Opera deals with users. Simplifying this question won't change facts.

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