The Google Advanced Protection Program is designed for people who are prone to have a higher risk of security breach like journalists and activists.
Google stated, “Chrome is always exploring new options to help all of our users better protect themselves against common online threats like malware”.
In a step towards this Chrome is adding some safe scanning options for users of Advanced Protection.
How does this work?
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The users under Advanced Protection are already safeguarded from phishing. But they are targeted by the attackers by getting them to download malware.
In the previous year Google has already warned the users about malicious downloads. Along with the warning, Google allows the users to send risky files which will be scanned by the Google Safe Browsing’s full suite for detection of malware. Google expects these cloud hosted scans will significantly enhance their ability to detect the malware.
For example, an Advanced Protection user downloads a malicious software or file from the Internet. The Safe Browsing will make a quick scan of the file using metadata like the hashes of the file. Then it verifies whether it is a safe or a suspicious file.
A warning is given to the users when the download is risky but not necessarily unsafe. It also asks us whether we want the file to be scanned.
Only open the file if you are sure
If the user decides to send the file, the Chrome Browser will upload it to Safe Browsing to perform a check. The latter carries out a cloud hosted scan using real time static and dynamic analysis techniques. After a short period of time, Chrome lets you know if the file is reliable or is deemed suspicious. If the latter is true, then Chrome will alert and warn the user.
You can ignore the warning if you want and open the file anyway. Only if you are absolutely sure and confident that the file or the software is perfectly safe. Uploaded files are detected by Safe Browsing after a short time.
Google stated in the blog post, “Online threats are constantly changing, and it’s important that users’ security protections automatically evolve as well. With the US election fast approaching. For example, Advanced Protection could be useful to members of political campaigns whose accounts are now more likely to be targeted”.