Microsoft Edge's InPrivate browsing may not be very private

By midian182
Jan 29, 2016
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  1. When Microsoft’s Edge browser arrived last summer alongside Windows 10, it was hailed as a massive improvement over the much-derided Internet Explorer that it was replacing. But the lack of cross-platform and extension support has meant that most people who try Edge don’t stick with it. Now, it looks as if another reason to avoid the browser has been discovered: its private browsing feature may not be very private at all.

    According to an investigation by security researcher Ashish Singh, instead of wiping browsing data as soon as the InPrivate-enabled window is closed, the information is stored in the browser’s WebCache file. Any sites that the user visited while in private mode can be found in the same "Container_n" table that stores tab history from conventional browsing, the investigation found.

    "Plenty of artifacts are maintained by the browser, which makes examination quite easy. However, there are stages where evidence is not so easy to find. The not-so-private browsing featured by Edge makes its very purpose seem to fail," Singh wrote in Forensic Focus.

    Singh’s discovery dates back to October 2015, but Microsoft has only just confirmed that it’s aware of the issue. "We recently became aware of a report that claims InPrivate tabs are not working as designed," a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge, "and we are committed to resolving this as quickly as possible."

    This isn’t the first instance where a browser’s private mode hasn’t kept a user’s web searches very secret. Earlier this month, it was reported that Chrome’s Incognito mode can stop working properly if used with a Nvidia GPU on a Mac. The graphics card maker responded by saying that the issue is related to memory management in the Apple OS, not Nvidia graphics drivers.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Guest17

    Guest17 TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +37

    Is Big Brother watching you? Of course not.
  3. Jack Meoffski

    Jack Meoffski TS Booster Posts: 49   +35

    Of course they are! Snowden's not living in Russia for the weather....
    Matti and Hexic like this.
  4. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 860   +307

    I know there is lots of code in an OS, but Microsoft really isn't impressing me with Windows 10. I use it, but it's pointless to ask if I like it, the situation is more akin to the Star Trek Borg "Resistance is Futile". All the software I use is for Windows and as the only desktop PC I use is one I assemble Windows works the easiest. Win 10 has 10,000 small things that make you think, how is it that this wasn't caught in 5 minutes by someone using the OS? Then there is the whole privacy thing which certainly isn't confined to Microsoft.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Which would you rather listen in on, a standard browser session or a session people use to really open up? I'm tempted to say a standard browser session is monitored less.
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    M$ can take their time fixing it, not many people I'm aware of bother using it which is unsurprising. I last time I used a MS browser the Dead Sea had just reached critical condition. I just wish I could uninstall Edge & IE like I did with all the other crapware bundled with Win 10.
  7. stansfield

    stansfield TS Enthusiast Posts: 76   +14

    Site here which claims to be able uninstall Edge.
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  8. stansfield

    stansfield TS Enthusiast Posts: 76   +14

    Did it work?
  9. lazer

    lazer TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +10

    Why would anyone (excepting an old doting grandmother) use M$'s browser? With FF or Chrome there are so many great and free extensions that make browsing faster and really great.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    That perspective will soon (how soon is anyone's guess) be a thought of the past.

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