Google Enhanced Chrome Safe Browsing Feature to Identify Malicious Extensions Before Installation

Google Chrome’s Enhanced Safe Browsing now got upgraded. Google announced that it is rolling out new features to help Enhanced Safe Browsing users better choose their extensions, as well as offer additional protections against downloading malicious files on the web.

The updations are built aimed at detecting suspicious downloads and extensions via its Enhanced Safe Browsing feature, which Google launched in 2020.

Improved Protection of Enhanced Safe Browsing Feature

Enhanced Safe Browsing feature will now offer added protection when the users attempt to install a new extension from the Chrome Web Store, a dialog will notify if an extension about to install is not a part of the list of extensions ‘trusted’ by Enhanced Safe Browsing.

The company noted that its integration with Safe Browsing’s blocklist API helped improve privacy and security, with the number of malicious extensions disabled by the browser jumping by 81%.

Google says, “Any extensions built by a developer who follows the Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies will be considered trusted by Enhanced Safe Browsing. For new developers, it will take at least a few months of respecting these conditions to become trusted”.

At present this represents almost 75% of all extensions in the Chrome Web Store and Google expects this number to keep growing as new developers become trusted.

Improved Download Protection

Enhanced Safe Browsing offers the users improved protection against risky files. While users download a file, Chrome performs the first-level check with Google Safe Browsing using metadata about the downloaded file, such as the digest of the contents and the source of the file, to decide whether it’s potentially suspicious.

Google mentions that any downloads that Safe Browsing supposes risky, but not unsafe, Enhanced Safe Browsing users will be presented with a warning and the ability to send the file to be scanned for a more in-depth analysis.

If Safe Browsing determines the file is unsafe, Chrome will display a warning and the uploaded files will be deleted from Safe Browsing a short time after scanning.

Google says the new features are available starting with Chrome 91, the version of the browser that was released on May 26. Users can turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing by visiting Settings > Privacy and security > Security > Enhanced protection.

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Guru Baran

Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.

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