Google has added malicious download warnings to its Chrome browser, starting with dangerous Windows executables.
The feature targets drive-by download attacks, showing up warnings if a user tries to get a malicious file onto their system, Google said on a blog.
The warning will show up when a user visits any URL on the blacklist within Google’s Safe Browsing API - a service a range of other browsers take advantage of to warn people about potentially dangerous sites.
“We’re starting with a small-scale experimental phase for a subset of our users who subscribe to the Chrome development release channel, and we hope to make this feature available to all users in the next stable release of Google Chrome,” said Moheeb Abu Rajab from the Google security team.
“We hope that the feature will improve our users’ online experience and help make the internet a safer place.”
He said the web was still “rife with deceptive and harmful content,” despite efforts in the safe browsing space.
“It’s easy to find sites hosting free downloads that promise one thing but actually behave quite differently,” he added.
“These downloads may even perform actions without the user’s consent, such as displaying spam ads, performing click fraud or stealing other users’ passwords.”
A number of vendors have jumped on browser security, seeing it as a potentially highly lucrative market.
Overtis recently launched an add-on to enable IT administrators to watch over employee browser activity.