A notorious ‘download bomb’ exploit, where users are bombarded with automatically downloading files when they visit a specific website has returned with a vengeance after having been patched out in Chrome earlier this year. Most major browsers are affected by it aside, interestingly, from Microsoft Edge.
Bleeping Computer reports that the exploit was originally discovered late last year. It works by initiating thousands of downloads when a user visits a specific webpage, which makes it impossible to leave the site in question (unless a user pays for a shady bit of ‘tech support’).
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Thankfully, it was a fairly easy process for Google to patch out the issue, and it did so at around Chrome 65. Unfortunately, users have noticed that with Chrome 67 the bug has returned, and now it appears other browsers are also affected, including Firefox, Brave, Vivaldi, and Opera (to a more limited extent).
There’s one major browser missing from that list, and it’s Microsoft Edge, which has a user base that has historically lagged far behind all its competitors. It’s not yet clear why it’s unaffected by the exploit.
Keeping up with Chrome
You’ve got to feel for Edge sometimes. There’s nothing really wrong with the browser, and yet Chrome has built up a massive user base that’s become very used to its plethora of extensions and decently optimised experience across Google’s own sites.
But perhaps the biggest thing stopping Edge’s usage growing is just laziness. The actual browser is the thing that people barely think about, it’s the thing you open before you think about what you’re doing, and in the absence of anything getting seriously broken (as Internet Explorer did in the early noughties) people are unlikely to give switching browsers much serious thought.
But allowing a previously squashed bug to creep back into Chrome is not a good look for Google, and you’ve got to give credit for Microsoft for having the more secure browser on this occasion.
What’s your browser of choice? Let us know @TrustedReviews.