Chrome’s malware protection system – you know, that alert you get before visiting a potentially dangerous website that often results in a U-turn – has likely saved me on more than one occasion. Equally useful is the warning you get before downloading any deceptive software disguised as a legitimate program.
Google is now taking the latter warning system and adding it to its Safe Browsing API.
As Google Safe Browsing Program Manager Emily Schechter points out, Google’s unwanted software data is now available for other browser makers and developers to integrate into their own solutions.
The types of unwanted or deceptive software that a user might encounter are wide ranging and can be downloaded as part of a repackaged software offering or even silently in the background. Malicious programs of this nature are typically capable of installing adware or malware, changing or modifying your browser’s homepage or redirecting search engine results.
Scrubbing a machine of an infection can be a daunting task, especially for those who aren’t tech savvy. I’ve come across many instances where a browser has been hijacked through the use of a proxy server.
Of course, most infections like this can be prevented by installing software only from trusted sources and keeping antivirus and other software up to date.
The news from Google is certainly welcomed although I suspect it’ll take a bit of time before these new protections show up in your favorite apps.