A browser is our connection to the world wide web – it allows us to access websites, gain information, make online purchases, the list goes on. As the key to our internet usage, browsers can also be the key to unlocking our personal information. So, unfortunately, browser flaws can have a major impact on users. And now, this exact scenario has come to life, as news emerged this week about a flaw in both Safari and Microsoft’s Edge browser that could expose users to a cyberattack.
You know how when you type in a URL into your web browser, it can often take a few seconds to load? This flaw relies on exactly that. While a safe URL is loading, a cybercriminal could actually edit and update the address bar and redirect users to a potentially malicious website. Essentially, a hacker could send a user to an attack site of their choosing and make the user believe they’re still accessing a safe site.
Of course, the security researcher who discovered the vulnerability informed both Microsoft and Apple and waited 90 days until publishing his report about the flaw. As of now, Microsoft has issued a fix, but Apple has not.
So, what can internet users do next to ensure they don’t fall victim to a cyberattack that leverages this flaw? Start by following these tips
- Don’t leave your computer unattended. It’s important to note that this vulnerability is completely dependent on physical access to a user’s computer. Now that this vulnerability has been disclosed, it’s important that you keep a close eye on your computer until you apply any necessary updates.
- Update your software immediately. It’s an important security rule of thumb: always update your software whenever an update is available, as security patches are usually included with each new version. Microsoft’s patch is already available, and the Apple patch is hopefully on the way. If you tend to forget to update your browser, a simple trick is just turning on automatic update.
- Remain alert of malicious sites. It can be challenging to successfully identify malicious sites when you’re on them, especially with a flaw such as this one out there. That’s why you should utilize a solution such as McAfee WebAdvisor, which keeps you safe from threats while you search and browse the web, without impacting your browsing performance or experience.
And, of course, to stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.