Microsoft Updates SmartScreen to Guard Against Drive-by Attacks on Windows 10
Microsoft’s latest tweak to Windows 10 has updated its SmartScreen web filter technology to protect users from drive-by attacks.
SmartScreen is designed to defend against various phishing and malware nastiness that users may encounter when browsing the web. The web filter has been updated for both Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge in Windows 10, and now it also covers drive-bys – which are non-traditional forms of malware delivery.
A drive-by attack occurs without user interaction by merely visiting webpages (the victim doesn’t have to be lured into clicking or downloading something), and may also leverage zero-day exploits.
“To avoid impacting browsing performance, SmartScreen helps protect against drive-by attacks by using a small cache file created by the SmartScreen service,” Microsoft noted in a blog post. “This cache file is periodically updated by your browser to help keep you protected and to ensure that calls to the SmartScreen service are only made if we believe there’s a high probability of malicious content on a page.”
According to the Redmond giant, the new drive-by protection feature in SmartScreen is the result of gathering a broad set of data from a variety of data sources, including Bing, Internet Explorer, SmartScreen, Windows Defender and the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET).
The latest update to SmartScreen has also enhanced user experience. So when a potentially malicious content is detected in a webpage, unlike previous versions which would obscure the entire webpage, only the frame itself will be blocked showing you a red warning notice.