Published on March 28, 2024, 10:35 am

Microsoft Edge Vulnerability Patched: Safeguarding Users From Silent Extension Installations

Microsoft Edge faced a unique vulnerability that allowed cybercriminals to install harmful extensions on the browser without the user’s knowledge or consent. This flaw could open the door to various security breaches, potentially enabling extensions to capture screenshots, store sensitive data, and more.

The good news is that this vulnerability was identified last year and promptly patched earlier this year. Therefore, if you are using Microsoft Edge, it is likely that you are already safeguarded against this particular threat.

Reportedly discovered by security researchers from Guardio Labs, the flaw was related to a privilege escalation issue tracked as CVE-2024-21388. With a severity score of 6.5, this flaw stemmed from Edge having privileged access to private APIs, allowing the browser to install add-ons quietly from the vendor’s extension store.

Exploiting legitimate APIs such as edgeMarketingPagePrivate was key in this vulnerability. This particular API, intended for installing themes from the Edge Add-ons store, could be manipulated by threat actors to surreptitiously install malicious extensions rather than harmless themes.

The method involves creating a seemingly innocent add-on for Edge that injects malicious JavaScript code into a compatible website like bing[.]com. Subsequently, this code triggers the silent installation of the malicious add-on through the API.

While no instances of this flaw being exploited in the wild were found by Guardio Labs’ researchers, they emphasized the importance for browser developers to balance user experience with security measures. They warned that excessive browser customization might inadvertently weaken security protocols and introduce new vulnerabilities.

For more insights on cybersecurity issues and best practices across browsers and platforms akin to this one, check out TechRadar Pro’s additional resources:

1. If you’ve installed any of these malicious Google Chrome extensions unknowingly, remove them immediately.
2. Explore a comprehensive list of top-rated firewalls available today.
3. Discover the leading endpoint security tools currently recommended in the industry.


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