Microsoft has announced that the Edge Security team is experimenting with a new feature called “Super Duper Secure Mode”. This should bring significant security improvements without significant performance degradation.
This emerges from a contribution by the security team at Github. This new Super Duper Secure Mode reduces the surface area that threat actors can use to break into edge users’ systems. It works by removing just-in-time compilation (JIT) from the V8 processing pipeline, explains Johnathan Norman, Microsoft Edge Vulnerability Research Lead.
Getting Secured Without performance issue
“This reduction in the attack surface has the potential to improve user security significantly; it would eliminate about half of the V8 bugs that need to be fixed,” said Norman.
A lot of use, hardly any negative
“This reduction in the attack surface ‘kills’ half of the bugs we see in exploits and any remaining bug becomes more difficult to exploit. In other words, we lower the costs for users, but increase the costs for attackers.” The JIT compiler is also designed to increase performance by compiling the computer while the program is running (at runtime). Deactivating the JIT compiler in SuperDuper Secure Mode would therefore hardly have any negative effects.
The Super Duper Secure Mode is still in the experimental stage, but can already be activated by users of all Microsoft Edge pre-release versions (including Beta, Dev, and Canary). This works via an experimental flag that can be switched on via edge: // flags / # edge-enable-super-duper-secure-mode.
“This is just an experiment, of course; things can change and we still have some technical challenges to overcome,” explains Norman. “Also, our tongue-in-cheek name will likely have to be changed to something more professional when we start as a feature. For now, we’ll still have fun with it.”
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