The implementation of a new technology will allow Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, the Chromium-based browsers, to become even more secure: here's how
The new technology that makes Chrome and Edge, two of the most used browsers by users, more secure could be coming soon. The security feature is called CET and, in its defensive methodology, it takes advantage of tricks built into the computer hardware to block the main types of malware attacks.
According to initial information CET, an acronym that stands for Control-flow Enforcement Technology, is expected to arrive in mid-April on all Chromium-based browsers. Initially introduced in 2016, this implementation in security was first added in 2020 on computers equipped with 11th generation Intel processor and later on those with AMD Ryzen 5000 processor with Zen 3 architecture. While CET is set to appear on all products with the same core type, no information has yet been provided on whether we will see the same technology on Mozilla, a browser that uses Quantum as its rendering engine.
CET, the importance of the security feature
The CET feature was created to protect computers from Return Oriented Programming (ROP) and Jump Oriented Programming (JOP) attacks. According to Intel Vice President Tom Garrison, CET was built to "protect against the misuse of legitimate code through control-flow hijacking attacks - techniques widely used in broad classes of malware." Vulnerabilities include those that allow hackers to bypass the sandbox of browsers, or execute code remotely while browsing the web.
According to Baiju V Patel, cloud solutions specialist at Microsoft, "JOP and ROP attacks can be particularly difficult to detect or prevent because the attacker uses existing code running from executable memory in creative ways in order to change the behavior of the program." That's why this new feature will provide better security for both Edge and Chrome browsers.
CET, how to check if it's enabled on Windows 10
Windows 10 has also implemented CET, through what has been called Hardware-enforced Stack Protection. If your computer mounts one of the processors mentioned above, you can do a quick check to know the active processes that use this feature.
To do so, simply launch Task Manager and select the Details tab view. On the header of one of the columns on the screen, simply right-click and choose the Select Columns item from the menu that just appeared. Lastly, in the new window just check the heading Hardware Stack Protection. Once available, the column will allow you to view the required information.