Surfing the web while using either Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 should be a bit safer, thanks to some improvements Microsoft has made to its SmartScreen malicious website protection system. The company revealed that the latest updates for Windows 10 now offer better protection against 'drive-by attacks' from malicious websites.
What is a drive-by attack? Microsoft says:
"Drive-by attacks are malicious web attacks that tend to start on trusted websites, targeting security vulnerabilities in commonly used software. What's more, they often don't require any user interaction – so there's nothing to click, nothing to download – and infection is usually invisible."
Microsoft has gathered information on how these attacks are made via data from Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Bing, Defender and others. This information is added to the SmartScreen protection system:
"Unlike existing SmartScreen protection from socially engineered attacks, drive-by attacks need to be detected and prevented before any web content is parsed and rendered. To avoid impacting browsing performance, SmartScreen helps protect against drive-by attacks by using a small cache file created by the SmartScreen service. 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."