In order to enhance the look, feel and usability of websites, we often unknowingly activate some browser features that pose a threat to the security of the browser. Hence, it is important to understand the various features of the browser we use. Some of the features can even enable attackers to download malicious files.
How do attackers exploit vulnerabilities in a browser?
Hackers and attackers keep an eye on users’ browsers to exploit vulnerabilities in a browser. There are various features that attackers exploit on your browser to get access of your computer, download malicious files, access, steal or destroy personal data. Attackers and scammers create bogus webpages or websites that install malware and spyware when you will visit those sites/pages. They mostly send you links of these web pages or websites through mails. There are some features in your browsers which lower security of your browser and enable these web pages to install spyware through browser.
Following are some features, which lowers the security of a browser:
ActiveX: Internet Explorer and Windows-based computers has ActiveX components. Browsers with ActiveX increase vulnerability toward malware and spyware. Attackers and hackers find it easier to take access of a computer with ActiveX controls. They create web pages that include downloadable objects which get installed by ActiveX controls. Thus, these features in a browser augment risks of security threats.
Cookies: If cookies are enabled in a browser, it enables the browser to store data from specific websites on the hard disk drive. Cookies enable ease of browsing as it stores credentials of using a website. These cookies are readable by website owners only and allow them to identify visitors of their sites, visitors’ browsing behavior and their preferences which can pose a threat to the privacy of users. Attackers get unauthorized access to your computer by installing cookies in your computer if you have enabled the cookies features in your browser.