Google flips switch on Chrome's newest defensive technology

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 13:32:00 -0700

Google has switched on a defensive technology in Chrome that will make it much more difficult for Spectra-like attacks to steal information such as log-on credentials.

Called “Site Isolation,” the new security technology has a decade-long history. But most recently it’s been cited as a shield to guard against threats posed by Spectre, the processor vulnerability sniffed out by Google’s own engineers more than year ago. Google unveiled Site Isolation in late 2017 within Chrome 63, making it an option for enterprise IT staff members, who could customize the defense to shield workers from threats harbored on external sites. Company administrators could use Windows GPOs – Group Policy Objects – as well as command-line flags prior to wider deployment via group policies.

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Apple pushes privacy theme in Safari for iOS 12, 'Mojave'

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2018 03:23:00 -0700

Apple upgrades its Safari browser on macOS and iOS just once a year, making the refresh more strategic than most of its rivals, notably Google, which last year had eight separate opportunities to add features or functionality to Chrome.

The next Safari, which will be bundled with macOS 10.14 ‘Mojave’ and iOS 12, and offered as a separate download for those who stick with macOS High Sierra (10.13) and Sierra (10.12), thus must make its enhancements count.

On the security and privacy side, Safari tries its hardest to build a case. Here are the important ways Apple’s browser – which shed user share on both the desktop and on mobile over the past year – has staked its reputation for the next 12 months.

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How your web browser tells you when it's safe

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Wed, 23 May 2018 13:27:00 -0700

Google last week spelled out the schedule it will use to reverse years of advice from security experts when browsing the Web – to “look for the padlock.” Starting in July, the search giant will mark insecure URLs in its market-dominant Chrome, not those that already are secure. Google’s goal? Pressure all website owners to adopt digital certificates and encrypt the traffic of all their pages.

The decision to tag HTTP sites – those not locked down with a certificate and which don’t encrypt server-to-browser and browser-to-server communications – rather than label the safer HTTPS websites, didn’t come out of nowhere. Google has been promising as much since 2014.

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Google details how it will overturn encryption signals in Chrome

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Mon, 21 May 2018 13:45:00 -0700

Google has further fleshed out plans to upend the historical approach browsers have taken to warn users of insecure websites, spelling out more gradual steps the company will take with Chrome this year.

Starting in September, Google will stop marking plain-vanilla HTTP sites – those not secured with a digital certificate, and which don’t encrypt traffic between browser and site servers – as secure in Chrome’s address bar. The following month, Chrome will tag HTTP pages with a red “Not Secure” marker when users enter any kind of data.

Eventually, Google will have Chrome label every HTTP website as, in its words, “affirmatively non-secure.” By doing so, Chrome will have completed a 180-degree turn from browsers’ original signage – marking secure HTTPS sites, usually with a padlock icon of some shade, to indicate encryption and a digital certificate – to labeling only those pages that are insecure.

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(Insider Story)

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Microsoft boosts anti-phishing skills of Chrome, the IE and Edge killer

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 05:02:00 -0700

Microsoft has ceded a major asset of its Edge browser to rival Google by releasing an add-on that boosts Chrome’s phishing detection skills.

The Redmond, Wash. company had little choice, according to one analyst. “Phishing is a huge problem, and people are going to use the browser they use,” said Michael Cherry of Directions on Microsoft. “They’re doing this to protect the Windows ecosystem.”

Dubbed “Windows Defender Browser Protection” (WDBP) the free extension can be added to Chrome on Windows or macOS, and after a post-launch fix, Chrome OS as well. Like the defenses built into Edge, the add-on relies on Microsoft’s SmartScreen technology that warns users of potentially malicious websites that may try to download malware to the machine or of sites linked in email messages that lead to known phishing URLs.

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Chrome 68 to condemn all unencrypted sites by summer

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:10:00 -0800

Google has put a July deadline on a 2016 promise that its Chrome browser would tag all websites that don’t encrypt their traffic.

“Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as ‘not secure,'” wrote Emily Schechter, a Chrome security product manager, in a Feb. 8 post to a company blog.

Google has scheduled Chrome 68 to release in Stable form – analogous to production-level quality – during the week of July 22-28.

Starting then, Chrome will insert a “Not secure” label into the address bar of every website that uses HTTP connections between its servers and users. Sites that instead rely on HTTPS to encrypt the back-and-forth traffic will display their URLs normally in the address bar.

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