The Security Warning Messages in Google Chrome
Article by George Norman
On 02 Nov 2009
It is already well known that the Google developed Chrome browser has the fastest JavaScript engine in the browser world. What some users may not know is that Chrome focuses on speed as well as security. To be more precise, Chrome wants to make the user’s browsing experience a safe one. And the manner in which it does this is by displaying security warning messages when the user attempts to visit a known malware spreading site or a known phishing site.

The warning message goes like this:
Warning: Visiting this site may harm your computer
The website at SITENAME appears to host malware – software that can hurt your computer or otherwise operate without your consent. Just visiting a site that hosts malware can infect your computer.


This is not the only security warning message you’ll see in Google Chrome. The browser will check the security certificate of the webpage you want to visit; if Chrome finds something odd about the certificate, it may display one of the following messages:

This is probably not the site you are looking for

This message is displayed when the URL in the security certificate is different from the site’s actual URL.

The site’s security certificate is not trusted

To be trusted, security certificates need to be issued by a trusted 3rd party organization. Anyone can easily create a certificate, but it cannot be trusted unless it came from a recognized organization.

The site's security certificate has expired!
This one is self-explanatory. If the security certificate has expired, then Chrome cannot verify that the site you want to visit is secure.

The server's security certificate is revoked!

The site’s security certificate has been issued by a recognized 3rd party organization, but it has been marked as invalid. Because the certificate has been revoked, Chrome cannot verify that the site you want to visit is secure.

“It's a good idea to heed these messages you see, even if the site you're trying to visit is owned by someone you know and trust. Hackers can take advantage of security holes on a site without the site owner's knowledge. So even though you've visited your friend's blog without any problem in the past, the warnings can still show up one day if someone exploits a vulnerability on the site,” explained Google’s Fiona Chong.

Tags: Google, Chrome, Security
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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