The future of WebGL in browsers is in doubt after Microsoft effectively withdrew support for the standard on security grounds.
Microsoft said in a blog post entitled 'WebGL Considered Harmful', that the standard gives programmers an unwarranted level of access to the hardware of users' systems.
Too much of the responsibility for security is placed on third parties, according to Microsoft, opening the possibility for distributed denial-of-service attacks.
"We believe that WebGL is likely to become an ongoing source of hard-to-fix vulnerabilities. In its current form, WebGL is not a technology Microsoft can endorse from a security perspective," said the Microsoft Security Response Center engineering team.
"We recognise the need to provide solutions in this space. However, it is our goal that all such solutions are secure by design, secure by default and secure in deployment."
Microsoft launched its attack after new research from Context Information Security claimed that WebGL contains serious design flaws that put users at risk.
Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox browsers already support the WebGL standard, which allows fast 3D graphics rendering without the need for plug-ins.
Context's latest research suggests that Firefox users with WebGL are vulnerable to attack.
However, the Khronos Group, which devised the WebGL standard, issued a strong rebuttal of Context's claims.
Khronos spokesman Jonathan Hirshon told V3.co.uk that the organisation had agreed with most of the findings of Context's earlier research, and had moved quickly to address the flaws.
"The issue of theft of arbitrary windows on the desktop is due to a bug in Firefox's WebGL implementation, and cannot be generalised across other browsers' WebGL implementations," he said.
"Moreover, that bug was addressed on 26 May and is resolved in Firefox 5, due for release on 21 June."
But Hirshon insisted that this latest accusation is based on outdated implementations and flawed assumptions.
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