Google has redesigned Chrome Cleanup on Chrome for Windows, and has upgraded the technology it uses to detect and remove unwanted software.
A basic antivirus for Chrome
“We worked with IT security company ESET to combine their detection engine with Chrome’s sandbox technology. We can now detect and remove more unwanted software than ever before, meaning more people can benefit from Chrome Cleanup,” Product Manager Phillippe Rivard noted, but added that this feature is not meant to supplant regular antivirus solutions, as it only removes software that doesn’t comply with Google’s unwanted software policy.
Chrome Cleanup is meant to complement the Safe Browsing protection, and help users browse the web safely and without interruption.
It operates in the background, invisible to the users, and only becomes visible when it alerts them to potential threats. It gives them the option to remove the software, and notifies them when the cleanup has been successfully completed.
“Chrome Cleanup is a reactive protection that will scan the system once a week and in case any malware families are identified, they will be removed. The technology included in Chrome Cleanup is based on signature matching, emulation and unpacking of protected files,” ESET’s Urban Schrott explained.
The tool has also received a simpler interface that should make it easier to see what software will be removed.
Fighting obtrusive extensions
From now on, Chrome for Windows will detect when extensions change users settings without the users’ consent, and will offer to restore the modified settings:
“Effects of this harmful software are often quite subtle—search results are modified to redirect users to other pages or additional ads are injected in the pages that users visit. But in some cases, the changes are so severe that they can make the web unusable—people are redirected to unwanted sites full of ads, and it can be next to impossible to navigate away from these pages,” Rivard noted.
These changes should make web browsing safer for Chrome users.