02-03-2020 icon

Microsoft Launches Browser to Tackle Crypto Mining Malware

By Sagetwriter
Microsoft Edge Browser Prevents Crypto Mining Malware

Microsoft has launched a new browser designed to block and prevent users from unintentionally downloading crypto mining scripts.

The chromium-based “Microsoft Edge Browser” comes with a unique feature to protect users from automatically downloading unwanted apps such as adware and other malicious programs which could harm a users’s device.

Microsoft says the new browser was launched due to the increasing threats posed by mining scripts, which are hidden behind programs with the aim to unconsciously put a user’s device to use for crypto mining.

These crypto mining malware comprises of software programs which are programmed to utilize computer resources and engage them for cryptocurrency mining, without the owner’s consent.

The Microsoft Windows Report reads:

Microsoft Edge users will soon be able to navigate the web without the risk of unintentionally downloading crypto miners. This feature targets the ‘less reputable’ sources that infect sites or online ads with crypto-mining code, which executes stealthily after loading in the victim’s browser.

The report says even Google’s Safe Browsing feature (available on Chrome) doesn’t do a great job handling unwanted applications that do not necessarily harm your PC.

Microsoft Principal Program Manager, Eric Lawrence claims the new Edge Browser offers more functionality than cloud-based anti-phishing and anti-malware apps, including SmartScreen and SafeBrowsing blockers. He tweeted:

“Base SmartScreen and SafeBrowsing both block malware. The feature shown here goes further by optionally blocking downloads that contain potentially unwanted (but not technically malware) code– think a utility app that also bundles in a crypto miner or notification spammer.”

Crypto and PC Security

According to recent studies, crypto mining attacks are on the rise, with cloud infrastructure a major target by these crypto malware.

Last week, Microsoft’s Security Intelligence team had unraveled a Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency script in an online wallpaper of the late basketball Icon Kobe Bryant; as cyber-criminals use such images to keep the user at rest.

Further reports show that Windows 10 PC users are highly prone these attacks, and are advised to also watch out for non-browser ways of getting infected with these mining codes.

Microsoft has urged users to migrate to the Edge Browser.

Did you know? Cryptojacking is a practice whereby cybercriminals hijack processing power from other computers to mine cryptocurrencies remotely.