HYDERABAD: Security experts on Friday urged netizens to keep off Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Edge for the time being and instead use other browsers until the detected security flaws are rectified. A bug in the two browsers could allow a cyber-criminal to edit a website address while a page is being loaded, and could redirect one to a fake/malicious website.
The threat came was observed on Wednesday after it was detected by Rafay Baloch, a security expert, who found that a delay while loading a website, induced by ‘setInterval’ function, managed to trigger address bar spoofing in the browsers. Baloch said, “It could potentially trick users into supplying sensitive information to a malicious website due to the fact that it could easily lead the users to believe that they are visiting is legitimate website as the address bar points to the correct website.”
Srinivas Kodali, an independent security researcher, said, “Since not all security issues will be resolved immediately, the next best thing to do would be to use an alternative software until a security update is available.” Since the red flagging of the issue, Microsoft and Apple have been intimated of the vulnerability. As of now, though Microsoft has issued a fix, Apple has not, leaving millions of users at risk.
McAfee security expert Gary Davis urged users to not leave their computers unattended since the hacker would require 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,” he said. He also urged netizens to update software whenever their is an update available. “If you tend to forget to update your browser, a simple trick is just turning on automatic update,” Davis said. That apart, since it’s tricky to identify malicious websites from authentic ones, he recommended investing in a good antivirus.