Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) dominated the web browser market for over a decade. Those days are long gone, with Microsoft Edge replacing the service and Google Chrome assuming the market lead. However, Internet Explorer is hanging around and outstaying its welcome. The aging browser is now a security threat, including a new problem that has been found recently.
Security researcher Manuel Caballero says a new bug in IE that leaks the URL (and any text) that is typed in the address bar. Caballero says the problem appears in the latest version of the browser.
The vulnerability gives the website that is visited through the address bar to view all text that’s typed. For users, this means a website with malicious intent could exploit the flaw to find the URL of the next website you visit, or take text typed (which automatically becomes a search).
Any user exploited in this way would have no idea what has happened. The obvious way to avoid this problem would be to never visit a malicious website. Of course, that’s easier said than done with many cybercriminals creating legitimate looking websites to snare users.
Internet Explorer is still in widespread use and is available alongside Edge on Windows 10. On that platform, there is no reason to use IE over Edge, and Microsoft certainly would prefer you to. Since its launch, Edge has been increasingly picking up new features, security abilities and more.
Moving to Edge
However, plenty still think Edge is very insecure and Microsoft is clear about the work-in-progress nature of its new browser. Caballero points out Microsoft is pushing Edge over Internet Explorer:
“[Microsoft is] really moving forward regarding Edge, design bugs, and they even extended its bug bounty, which seems to be permanent now … but I still believe it is not acceptable to leave IE wide open.”
“In my opinion, Microsoft is trying to get rid of IE without saying it. It would be easier, [and] more honest to simply tell users that their older browser is not being serviced like Edge.”
With Internet Explorer sticking around, the browser is losing its legacy and nostalgia for the once dominant service will slowly slip away.