Microsoft has announced that the Edge VR team is experimenting with a new feature dubbed “Super Duper Secure Mode” and designed to bring security improvements without significant performance losses.

“The idea behind the new Super Duper Secure Mode is to disable support for JIT (Just-In-Time) inside V8, the Edge browser’s JavaScript engine,” explained Johnathan Norman, Microsoft Edge Vulnerability Research Lead.

JIT, while unknown to most end-users, plays a crucial role in all of today’s web browsers. JIT works by taking JavaScript and compiling it to machine code ahead of time. If the browser needs the code, it gains a significant speed boost. If it doesn’t, the code is discarded.

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However, JIT support in V8 is complex. Norman said JIT-related security issues amounted to 45% of all V8 vulnerabilities in 2019. Furthermore, more than half of the “in the wild” Chrome exploits rely on JIT-related bugs.

Norman said that recent tests carried out by the Edge team have shown that despite its pivotal role in speeding up browsers in the early and mid-2010s, JIT is not a crucial feature anymore to Edge’s performance.

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