Google Confirms Chrome 2 Privacy Update: What’s In There?

Key Takeaways

  • Google's Chrome update boosts phishing protection by 25% with real-time URL scanning.
  • Enhancements to Standard and Enhanced Safe Browsing modes include AI and privacy technologies.
  • A new partnership with Fastly ensures user privacy through an Oblivious HTTP server.

Google has announced a major privacy-focused upgrade to Chrome’s Safe Browsing feature, introducing real-time, privacy-preserving URL protection.

According to Google, these updates will result in a 25% increase in the browser’s detection and blocking of phishing attacks.

This latest Chrome update improves both the Standard and Enhanced modes of Safe Browsing. The Standard mode now employs Safe Browsing’s real-time protection protocol to automatically check for malicious websites.

For those seeking additional security, Google recommends the Enhanced Protection mode. In addition to real-time URL protection against unsafe sites, it offers greater protection by scanning suspicious files from Chrome extensions.

Before this update, Chrome relied on a locally stored database to identify malicious websites. However, this method suffered from two drawbacks: outdated URL lists and vulnerability during update intervals.

The new update addresses these limitations by introducing real-time list checks and AI-based classification of malicious URLs and web pages. This allows Chrome to check website addresses against Google’s server-side database in real-time, significantly cutting down the window of vulnerability and enabling the browser to identify and block a broader range of threats, including those not yet included in the local database.

To boost user privacy, Google has partnered with Fastly, an edge cloud platform, to operate an Oblivious HTTP (OHTTP) privacy server. This server is an intermediary between Chrome and Safe Browsing, preserving user privacy.

This announcement is part of a series of security enhancements by Google. Earlier in March, Google shared its perspective on memory safety and introduced MiraclePtr, a feature aimed at protecting users from use-after-free vulnerabilities.