With the launch of Chrome 91, Google will roll out an update which will assist Enhanced Safe Browsing by filtering out harmful extensions and protecting against infected downloads.

Since the initial launch in 2007, Google says it has continuously worked behind the scenes to improve its real-time URL checks and apply machine learning models to warn on previously unknown attacks. As a result, Enhanced Safe Browsing users are successfully phished 35% less than other users, claims Google.

According to Net Application, a web analytics company, Google Chrome tops the web browser popularity poll with an astounding 64.75%. That makes Chrome the daily browser for 2.65 billion people worldwide. 

Malware impersonating Chrome

On May 12, 2021, Pradeo, a cybersecurity company specializing in mobile security solutions, identified a malicious group that developed a smishing trojan which impersonates the Chrome App on Android devices. The victim receives a text with a link (a red flag) which when selected, directs you to a fake Chrome App update page. 

Users think they are updating Chrome but in reality, the malware infects their phone. The victim is then asked to pay a small fee for the update (another red flag. Chrome updates have always been free). This is a front to steal the victim’s credit card information.

The analytics provided by Net Application shows the size of the pool from which these hackers can literally pick and choose their next victims. 

By combining an efficient phishing technique, the propagation malware and several security solutions bypass, the campaign is particularly dangerous, according to the researchers at Pradeo.

Chrome 91 security update

With the launch of Chrome 91, Google has shared some tips on next-level security that users can do to ensure they are protected from threats on the web that are becoming increasingly sophisticated. These include:

1. Turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing protection in Chrome. Enhanced Safe Browsing users are successfully phished 35% less than other users. Google recently announced additional protections for Enhanced Safe Browsing users, like warnings before users install untrustworthy Chrome extensions and more thorough scanning to protect them from potential Malware.

2. Enrol in two-step verification (2SV). This is another way for a user’s account to confirm it is really them logging in. Using their mobile device to sign in gives users a safer and more secure authentication experience than passwords alone.

3. Enrol in Google’s Advanced Protection Program (APP). APP safeguards users with high visibility and sensitive information, who are at risk of targeted online attacks. New protections are automatically added to defend against today’s wide range of threats.

4. Take the Google Security Checkup. This gives users personalized and actionable security recommendations that help users strengthen the security of your Google Account, and it takes two minutes to complete.