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Chrome 91 Enhances Enhanced Safe Browsing For Extensions & Downloads

Google Chrome DG AH 2020
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Chrome 91 is, among other things, faster than ever but it’s also getting new Enhanced Safe Browsing features, according to Google. That’s via improvements to how Chrome handles both extensions and downloads.

Now, Chrome already shipped with browsing protection features prior to this update. With Enhanced Safe Browsing turned on, users were in fact phished successfully around 35-percent less. That’s as compared to those that didn’t turn it on. For another example, the number of malicious extensions that Chrome disabled since its launch to protect users grew by 81-percent.

How does Chrome 91 Enhanced Safe Browsing make these things better?

That’s setting aside the password protection tools in the feature and more. But now, the browser is going to be doing something similar for extensions and downloads.

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In the latter case, Chrome 91 Enhanced Safe Browsing will now offer you even better protection by performing a check on downloads before they happen. Namely, using metadata about the file, including source and a digest of its contents. If it finds something suspicious but not necessarily unsafe, a warning will be presented to end-users. And Chrome 91 will go further to offer the ability to scan the file more deeply via a “Send” button, as shown in the image below.

If, after the deep scan, Google’s new feature determines the file is dangerous, Chrome 91 will inform users. And then it will present a button to easily discard the download before it can even be downloaded to cause problems. Of course, users are given the option to open a file anyway if they’d like to. But the warning will be clearly displayed in any case.

Sending a file will put it through the same process, via a scan. That’s using static and dynamic analysis classifiers in real-time. If the file is unsafe to send, Chrome will again display a warning.

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What about extensions?

Extensions will also throw a warning if they aren’t part of the list of extensions trusted by Enhanced Safe Browsing. Trusted extensions are those from developers who follow the Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies. That’s approximately 75-percent of extensions in the associated section of the Chrome Web Store, according to Google.

Google indicates that both of these updates are rolling out in Chrome 91. But it has not given any sort of timeline for exactly when users across the board will see them.

01 Google Chrome 91 enhanced safe browsing
03 Google Chrome 91 enhanced safe browsing
install dialog friction @2x 2
01 Google Chrome 91 enhanced safe browsing
03 Google Chrome 91 enhanced safe browsing
install dialog friction @2x 2