Microsoft Edge Adds Security Mode to Thwart Malware Attacks

A new security feature in the latest beta of the Microsoft Edge browser can help protect web surfers from zero-day attacks.

Redmond is positioning Edge’s new security mode as an extra layer of protection for Windows, macOS, and Linux computers and seeks to mitigate unforeseen attacks based on historical trends.

When enabled, the feature improves user security on the Internet with the help of Hardware-enforced Stack Protection, Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG), and Content Flow Guard (CFG), according to a Microsoft document.

The company said corporate network administrators can now ensure that end-user desktops are protected against zero-days by enabling a new set of Group Policies.

“These policies also make sure that important sites and line of business applications continue to work as expected. This feature is a huge step forward because it lets us mitigate unforeseen active zero days,” Microsoft said.  

[ READ: Microsoft’s JIT-Free ‘Super Duper Secure Mode’ Browser Experiment ]

The new Group Policies include EnhanceSecurityMode (to simply enhance the security state in Edge), EnhanceSecurityModeBypassListDomains (the improved security mode won’t be enforced on the domains on this list), and EnhanceSecurityModeEnforceListDomains (the security mode will always be enabled for the domains in this list).

The latest Edge beta release also allows users to set a custom primary password they can use to authenticate themselves and have the browser auto-fill saved passwords in web forms.

The feature is meant to prevent unauthorized users from logging into websites using passwords that have been saved to Microsoft Edge.

In August 2021, Microsoft launched a Super Duper Secure Mode in Edge to disable the JavaScript JIT (Just-in-Time) compiler in the browser and reduce an attack surface that has been previously exploited in malicious campaigns.

Related: Patch Tuesday: Microsoft Calls Attention to ‘Wormable’ Windows Flaw

Related: Microsoft Introduces New Security Update Notifications

Related: Microsoft Edge Adds Password Generator, Drops Support for Flash, FTP

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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