Web browser you've never heard of adds cutting-edge security feature


It's a good week for browser security in general terms, because following news of Opera baking in VPN support yesterday, Russian web company Yandex has announced that its browser now carries built-in anti-DNS-spoofing tech.

The new feature goes by the name of DNSCrypt, and it affords those using the Yandex browser protection against malicious action which redirects the browser from a genuine site typed in by the user to a fraudulent page generally loaded with malware.

This can happen via a compromised DNS server returning an incorrect IP address, or if your router gets hacked and DNS settings messed with by the attacker. Either way, you're headed to said malware-loaded fake websites rather than the real things.

Resolving the issue

The Yandex browser now guards against this because instead of using an unknown DNS resolver, when you type in a URL, it's resolved by one of 80 secure DNS servers spread across the globe which are owned by the Russian company.

So users are guaranteed to be using a verified DNS resolver instead of a random and possibly poisoned one, and the DNSCrypt protocol also encrypts communication between the browser and server, guarding against possible interception.

The new feature is available in the browser for both Windows and OS X as of now, although you will need to turn it on – head to settings, and switch on DNSCrypt encryption.

Yandex is of course an obscure offering, but this still represents an interesting development in the browser world, and maybe we'll see this sort of protection in other more major browsers before too long.

In other recent browser security news, as well as Opera integrating its own free and unlimited VPN service, a couple of weeks back Microsoft was also boasting about Edge's tight security, and its plans to give users a high degree of control over Adobe Flash (which can often be a performance hog and/or security risk).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).