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Google Chrome now blocks ‘deceptive’ sites with social engineering threats

Google's Chrome internet browser will now automatically block websites featuring deceptive content and advertising after a new update.

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The firm’s Safe Browsing technology now displays a big red warning if a user tries to access a site with fake download buttons, scam-promoting pop-ups or other threats.

“Deceptive site ahead,” the message says. “Attackers on [site URL] may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards).”

Among the examples of unsafe features provided by Google were fake media player update dialogue boxes and ambiguous side-by-side “download” and “play” buttons.

This is the latest step the company has taken to protect its users, after announcing in November that Safe Browsing would try to prevent social engineering attacks.

“Our fight against unwanted software and social engineering is still just beginning,” Lucas Ballard from the Safe Browsing team wrote on Google’s security blog. “We’ll continue to improve Google’s Safe Browsing protection to help more people stay safe online.”

Software developers regularly update their internet browsers with new features to protect users against online scams and malware threats.

In October last year, Mozilla’s Firefox Nightly web browser was updated to display a warning when users visit websites that send passwords over non-secure HTTP connections.

If a user is prompted to enter their password on a non-HTTPS page, they are warned that the connection is “not secure” and that their information “could be compromised”.


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