Google is set to introduce a new feature in the upcoming version of its Chrome browser, aiming to alert users when an extension they’ve installed is removed from the Chrome Web Store. This feature, slated to launch alongside Chrome 117, will notify users when an add-on is unpublished by a developer, taken down for policy violations, or identified as malware. The notifications will appear under a “Safety check” category within the “Privacy and security” section of the browser settings. Users will have the choice to review the situation and decide whether to keep the extension or dismiss the warning.
Oliver Dunk, a developer relations engineer for Chrome extensions, highlighted that extensions marked as malware will continue to be automatically disabled, maintaining a strong security posture. The announcement coincides with Google’s initiative to automatically upgrade navigations from http:// URLs to the more secure https://, a feature currently in testing with Chrome 115. Additionally, a warning system will be implemented, starting in mid-September 2023, alerting users attempting to download high-risk files on insecure connections. The Chromium team emphasized that downloaded files carrying malicious code can bypass Chrome’s protections, potentially compromising users’ devices.
The developments don’t stop there, as Google aims to further bolster browser security. Among the pipeline features is enabling HTTPS-First Mode by default in Incognito Mode, enhancing the browsing experience’s safety. This setting will be automatically turned on for users who rarely use HTTP. Furthermore, Google is actively exploring quantum-resistant encryption algorithms, intending to integrate support for them into the Chrome browser, starting with version 116. These advancements underscore Google’s commitment to maintaining robust cybersecurity standards and offering users an even safer online environment.