Chrome is the most used browser on the planet and has just been updated to detect fishing attacks significantly faster than before. Like, 50 times faster, according to Google tests.
It’s easy to take for granted the internal workings of a browser and how they aim to keep us safe while browsing the vast web. Even if you avoid the most cluttered corners of cyberspace, you continue to be susceptible to various threats.
Phishing is one of the biggest dangers, perhaps because it is based on potential victims who want to bypass their sensitive data without having to compromise their systems. According to the latest FBI report Internet Crime Report (PDF), phishing was the most prominent type of cybercrime in 2020, in terms of the number of victims.
This is where browsers can help and are partially reduced to image processing.
"Each time you navigate to a new page, Chrome evaluates a collection of signals on the page to see if they match those of the fishing sites. To do this, we compare the color profile of the visited page, ie , the range and frequency of colors present on the page, with the color profiles of the usual pages " Google explains.
Google says this can burn to the CPU because it requires evaluating each pixel, and depending on the screen, there can be more than 14 million pixels.
"Chrome now runs image-based fishing ranking up to 50 times faster at the 50th percentile and 2.5 times faster at the 99th percentile. On average, users will get their fishing ranking results after 100 milliseconds , instead of 1.8 seconds, "says Google.
According to Google, the reduction in CPU time for these tasks amounts to 1.2%. This also means “less battery consumption and less time with rotating fans,” although that’s probably nothing very significant. However, even minor performance improvements are welcome and can be added over time.
The latest version of Chrome also includes better site isolation security, which involves processing sites separately to prevent malicious agents from accessing data they shouldn't see. Chrome's site isolation feature now also covers a "wider range of sites" and extensions.
Chrome should update on its own, though if you want to force the issue, click the top three vertical dots in the top right and go to Help> About Google Chrome.