Opera Software introduced a new security feature called Paste Protection in the latest Opera 84 Developer update. It is designed to protect content that is in the clipboard.
Clipboard content may contain all kinds of sensitive data, from credit card numbers over passwords to personal information. Clipboard content may be hijacked, for instance by malicious software running on a device or through exploits.
A bank account number of crypto wallet identifier could be replaced with another, so that money or crypto currency is transferred to a different account.
Opera Browser will monitor the clipboard for changes after “sensitive data” is copied to it, or until it is used. A warning message is displayed if manipulation is detected.
The post on Opera Software’s official blog offers little information on how the feature works.
Opera has come up with a secure way to protect you from this. When you copy sensitive data in Opera, the data is monitored for changes for some time or until you paste the data. If the data is changed by an external application, a warning is displayed.
It is interesting to note that Opera Browser detects only certain kinds of sensitive data. If you copy, for instance, an IBAN in a specific format, then you will get the message “An IBAN is copied and secured” in the top right corner of the browser window.
Other content is not protected, even IBANs that use a different format, e.g. with spaces, were not detected by the browser during tests. Opera did not reveal the types of data that it protects, besides IBAN numbers and crypto currency numbers.
The feature can’t be turned off, at least not in the Developer release it was introduced in. The feature has landed in Opera 84.0.4274.0, which the company released on December 20, 2021.
Paste Protect sounds like a useful feature but protection in the initial release appears to be limited. Opera Software could have enabled the feature for all clipboard content and add an option to turn if off for specific sites, or turn it off completely; this would make it more useful, especially since the browser does not even recognize all different formats that sensitive data that it supports may be copied.
Now You: what is your take on the new Paste Protection feature of the Opera web browser? (via Deskmodder)
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