Tech giant Google wants to save Internet users from themselves. The company's Chrome Web browser will now warn users before they visit sites that might encourage them to download programs or malware that could cripple their computers or otherwise interfere with their Web-browsing experience.
When users attempt to visit one of the questionable sites, they will see this warning in red letters: "The site ahead contains harmful programs."
The warning, part of what Google is terming SafeBrowsing, informs users that attackers may attempt to trick them into installing programs that harm their browsing experiences by changing their homepages or showing extra ads on the sites they visit, for example.
Google said the unsafe sites fall into two categories. One group consists of malware sites that contain code to install malicious software onto users’ computers. Hackers can use this malicious software to capture and transmit users' private or sensitive information. The other category consists of phishing sites that pretend to be legitimate while trying to trick users into typing in their usernames and passwords or sharing other private information.
The new precautions also extend to Google search and ads. Search now incorporates signals that identify deceptive sites, and Google recently began disabling ads that lead to sites with unwanted software.
"We're constantly working to keep people safe across the Web," Google Software Engineer Lucas Ballard wrote in a blog post Monday. "SafeBrowsing helps keep you safe online and includes protection against unwanted software that makes undesirable changes to your computer or interferes with your online experience."
Google said that about a billion people use SafeBrowsing. That means the company has a lot to gain by making the browsing experience as safe as possible since the Google search engine is the company’s primary generator of income.
Site Owners Beware
Site owners are also being targeted as part of the new initiative. They can register with Google Webmaster Tools to be notified when Google finds something on their sites that might lead people to download unwanted software. If that happens, Google said it will offer up tips to help them resolve the problems.
As part of that initiative, Google said it measures how quickly Webmasters clean up their sites after receiving notifications that their sites have been compromised. Even after a site has been cleaned, it can become reinfected if an underlying vulnerability remains, according to Google, which tracks the reinfection rate for those sites.
Google has had SafeBrowsing malware warnings in place for three years, but it was only last November that it added automatic malware blocking. At that time, Google noted that if users see malicious file warnings on Web sites going forward, "you can click 'Dismiss' knowing that Chrome is working to keep you safe."
The new protections emerged in the wake of last week's discovery that new Lenovo PCs shipped between September and December came pre-installed with adware known as Superfish, which uses a man-in-the-middle attack to insert ads into Web browsers.
Posted: 2015-02-26 @ 9:39am PT
There goes Google blocking Webmasters from making money. Seems like Google thinks it is god. If they don't like something, all Webmasters should also not like it.
FCC go after Google, please. They are becoming the Web dictator.