A bug in the latest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer can expose all the information entered in the address...
bar and enable a threat actor to view it. How does this work? How serious is this Internet Explorer bug, and should enterprises consider restricting use of the browser?
Internet Explorer has been replaced by Microsoft with its new Edge browser, in part to improve the state of web browser security for their customers. Given that Internet Explorer was installed by default on Windows, it's going to take a long time for the browser to be fully retired, as people often only install new software when they get a new system.
Deciding how long to support existing systems is part of the ongoing support challenge for Microsoft and other software vendors. IE had some unexpected functionality identified by a security researcher; an Internet Explorer bug enabled a malicious website to read the text typed into the address bar, a type of URL tracking. The unexpected functionality works because the text in the address bar is stored in an HTTP environment variable, such as location.href, which the webpage can access, store or use at any point.
The Internet Explorer bug has shed new light on an existing concern. Even though the browser has been around for over 20 years, most users do not know that when a web browser goes to a new webpage, the URL in the HTTP referrer field is tracked by web servers. This enables a website to track where visitors are coming from to get to their webpage, which could have privacy implications.
Getting data from the address bar, auto-complete and other web browser functionality create similar privacy concerns; however, these reasons are not sufficient to restrict the use of Internet Explorer or any other web browser.
Ask the expert:
Have a question about enterprise threats? Send it via email today. (All questions are anonymous.)
Dig Deeper on Web browser security
Related Q&A from Nick Lewis
Changes to the Sanny malware were recently discovered by FireEye researchers. Learn who is at risk and how elevated privileges can help protect you ... Continue Reading
A group of malware was discovered targeting public SSH servers. However, it avoided certain IP addresses. Discover how this is possible and how the ... Continue Reading
Several vulnerabilities were found in Western Digital's My Cloud, including one that affects the default hardcoded password. Learn how to avoid such ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.