Microsoft's new browser will block crypto mining malware, protect users from unwanted apps

while cloud infrastructure is a big target for crypto mining attacks, Microsoft Edge will block such malicious scripts

The tech giant Microsoft recently introduced a full version of its chromium-based browser, called Microsoft Edge, with several design improvements. One of the major addition is a new security feature which is designed to protect users from automatically downloading unwanted apps, such as malicious programs and adware which is not only harmful to PC but also can conduct background activities to steal data from a device.

Eric Lawrence, Microsoft Principal Program Manager mentioned in a Tweet that the new Microsoft Edge blocker will be superior to the cloud-based anti-phishing and anti-malware SmartScreen and SafeBrowsing blockers.

It should be noted that as per Windows Report, Don Sharp said that the crypto mining malware includes software programs and malware components which are programmed to seize a system's resources and use the data for cryptocurrency mining, without the consent of the owner. But the new as per the tech company, the new Microsoft browser is designed to block such malicious scripts.

Usage of Microsoft Edge

As per the reports, soon the users of Microsoft Edge will be able to navigate the web while avoiding the risk of unintentionally downloading crypto miners. As per the US-based tech company, the newly introduced feature targets the 'less reputable' sources that infect sites or online ads with crypto-mining code, which triggers stealthily after loading in the browser used by a victim.

There are a few malware blockers, but in terms of Microsoft Edge, it can optionally block downloads that contain unwanted codes and also bundles in a crypto miner or notification spammer. Founded by Bill Gates and currently run by the CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is already encouraging users to migrate towards its new browser.

Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge microsoft.com

Increase in crypto mining attacks

It should be mentioned that these kinds of attacks have been on the rise for several years. Even some security reports also claimed that in 2020 crypto mining attack will dominate the cybersecurity breach activities. Even though the value of cryptocurrencies declined in 2019, cloud infrastructures present a massive target for crypto mining malicious campaigns. A report by security firm Check Point revealed that this year, cloud infrastructure will be a big target for crypto-mining attacks.

On January 30, after the tragic death of the basketball legend Kobe Bryant, Microsoft Security Intelligence unit reported that undetected threat actors have installed a Monero cryptocurrency mining malware in a wallpaper of the late NBA star.

In a series of Twitter threads, Microsoft Security Intelligence wrote that "While the world mourns the loss of an NBA legend, cybercriminals are, as expected, taking advantage of the tragedy. We found a malicious HTML file posing as a Kobe Bryant wallpaper that contains a coin mining script."

The malicious script specifically mentions CoinHive, an in-browser crypto mining program which hackers prefer to use to mine Monero coins maliciously. But still, users should stay alert for non-browser-based ways which can infect a Windows 10 PC with such malicious code.

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