New versions of the popular Google Chrome browser will take additional steps to prevent users from the dark side of the Internet by blocking, or warning users of, malicious windows installer files. Most often, these types of websites promise free screensavers or tools, but only deliver a headache in the form of viruses and other nasty programs.
When users try to download a file that Google knows to be suspicious, the warning above will be displayed. The warning is slightly different from the standard Chrome warning when you download a program from the internet, but we think it could be a bit more in your face as users have been trained to just click save or Yes too often.
The new feature has been rolled out to the development build of Chrome for testing, but is expected to arrive in the next stable release of Chrome that will be pushed out to Chrome users.
Once the new protections are built into Chrome, we’d suggest switching your parents and other users that need a little help keeping malware and viruses off their computer, or as the we like to say – “Meet your dad’s new browser”.
The new system will make use of the existing Safe Browsing API which currently protects users of Chrome, Firefox and Safari when they try to visit a website suspected of containing malware. The new extension of the Safe Browsing API takes things further, looking for files that appear to be legit, but actually compromise security.
These websites have not been blocked in the past because they weren’t trying to automatically download malicious files, but rather depending on users to willingly download the software. The software can display spam, launch popups, perform click fraud and steal passwords and other personal information.
While other browsers use the Safe Browsing API, it’s not clear if, or when, Firefox and Safari might add this new feature to protect users from themselves.