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Google Chrome branded the least effective browser for stopping phishing attacks

The world's most popular browser came dead last when compared against competitors
Life
Image: IDGNS

26 May 2022

Google Chrome has been revealed to be the least effective Web browser for protecting its users against accessing websites dedicated to phishing.

It was the worst-performing browser across both Windows and macOS, according to the testing scores, with Firefox proving to offer the best protection across both operating systems (OS).

According to the tests conducted by consumer magazine Which?, Google Chrome was able to block just a quarter of the phishing sites the researchers visited.

 

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Chrome running macOS blocked users from visiting just 25% of phishing sites while the score was slightly better at 28% on Windows.

At the other end of the scoring, Firefox scored 78% and 85% across macOS and Windows respectively.

Safari offered the second-best protection on macOS with 77% and Microsoft Edge took second place on Windows with 82%. Opera came third on both platforms with a 56% blocking rate across both OSs.

The researchers tested the browsers using 800 newly created phishing sites to gauge each browser’s ability to recognise a phishing site that hasn’t already been added to an internet blacklist – a process the researchers said takes just a matter of hours.

Responding to the research’s findings, Google said it was unable to comment robustly due to the little context provided to it, but assured it uses Google’s Safe Browsing API to protect users against phishing attempts.

Google’s Safe Browsing launched in 2007 and is designed to protect users against a broad range of cyber threats including malware, unwanted software, and social engineering attacks like phishing.

In the past, Google has also experimented with shorter URLs in Chrome’s address bar, on several occasions, to combat phishing attacks.

The feature never ended up making a stable Chrome build but had it been implemented; it would have seen traditional URLs shortened and just the domain name displayed to users.

Google Chrome is still the most popular Web browser by far, according to recent statistics from StatCounter. The Web analytics firm said it holds a dominant 66.64% market share with second-place Chromium-powered Microsoft Edge holding just 10.07%.

Phishing is still one of the most prominent forms of cyber attack plaguing businesses today and continues to be extremely effective despite the array of protections afforded users across Internet services.

Most recently, the men behind a lucrative scam that convinced the US government to pay $23.5 million for jet fuel the scammers did not supply, had their sentencing dates set and together face a combined maximum prison sentence of 107 years.

© Dennis Publishing

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