Google Protects Through Search and the Chrome Browser
Article by George Norman
On 07 Apr 2011
The internet, as we all know, is full of useful information and at the same time is full of all sorts of threats. Mountain View-based search engine giant Google has been trying to protect users from online threats for the past five years. When you perform a search in Google, the search engine tells you if one of the sites displayed in the list distributes malware. To be more precise, Chrome, Firefox and Safari use the Safe Browsing API, so when you perform a search on Google you are told if a site is dangerous.

Google has taken another step in the fight against security threats. The company said that identifying sites that spread malware is not enough; the “internet remains rife with deceptive and harmful content” said Google. So Google has decided to protect users against harmful content by warning them about unsafe downloads. If the user tries to download a malicious executable file, Google’s Chrome web browser will warn the user.

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Basically, the Chrome browser will check the files the user wants to download against its Safe Browsing API and tell him if they are dangerous.

“We’re pleased to announce a new feature that aims to protect users against these kinds of downloads, starting with malicious Windows executables. The new feature will be integrated with Google Chrome and will display a warning if a user attempts to download a suspected malicious executable file,” said Moheeb Abu Rajab, Google Security Team.

Moheeb Abu Rajab went on to say that the warning will be displayed “for any download URL that matches the latest list of malicious websites published by the Safe Browsing API.”



This 'protect against malicious downloads' functionality is being rolled out to the developer channel. Google rolls out Chrome releases on three channels: the dev channel, the Beta channel, and the Stable channel. Google expects to eventually include this sort of functionality into the stable version of Chrome and thus provide an extra level of security to Chrome users.

“We hope that the feature will improve our users’ online experience and help make the Internet a safer place,” said Moheeb Abu Rajab.

Google’s initiative was applauded by Chester Wisniewski, Senior Security Advisor at Sophos, company that specializes in providing antivirus, anti-spam, spyware removal software, network and internet security. He said that “this could be a very valuable technique for protecting users of Google Chrome against threats like Fake anti-virus.”



Tags: Google, Search, Safe Browsing API, Chrome, Security, Sophos
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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