Google Chrome to protect against malicious downloads

Chrome already warns users of potentially malicious links and includes a safe-browsing API that checks if a URL is bad or not.

This capability is now being extended to executable downloads, starting with malicious Windows executables.

The feature will be integrated with Google Chrome and will display a warning if a user attempts to download a suspected malicious executable file.

Google says the feature follows the same privacy policy as the safe-browsing feature, which does not enable Google to determine the URLs users are visiting.

The feature will be available initially in the development version of the browser. Google hopes to have it ready in time for the next stable release of Chrome.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 uses a similar system that attaches a reputation to each download, based on the number of other people downloading a particular file. The browser will warn anyone attempting to download a file with a bad reputation.

This builds on top of the SmartScreen URL verification found in Internet Explorer 8 that offers equivalent functionality to the safe-browsing API, although Microsoft claims SmartScreen is more effective, according to Ars Technica.

This story was first published by Computer Weekly

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