Google is out with its first major stable Chrome browser release of 2012. The Chrome 17 browser extends security for users by offering new malware scanning capabilities and patches for at least 20 security vulnerabilities.
Chrome 17 now scans browser downloads to search for malicious executable files. The executable scanning capabilitiy is an extension of Google’s Safe Browsing technology that first debuted in Mozilla Firefox 2.0 in 2006, several years before Chrome even existed. Safe Browsing initially helped to protect users against known bad websites and has improved over the years. With Chrome 17, Safe Browsing checks user-downloaded executable files against a Google list of known good publishers and files to help alert users to potential malware.
“If the executable doesn’t match a whitelist, Chrome checks with Google for more information, such as whether the website you’re accessing hosts a high number of malicious downloads,” Google software engineer Noe Lutz wrote in a blog post.