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Google in plan to detect ‘fake’ websites

By BBC | February 4th 2019
By BBC | February 4th 2019

Google is working on a way for Chrome to do a better job of spotting fake websites that seek to trick people into handing over personal information.

It is concentrating on websites that use letters and numbers to approximate a recognised brand. The work will mean Chrome will warn people they are about to visit sites it believes are fake.

Security firm Wandera said it had seen a “constant rise” in attacks using the non-standard characters.

The criminal gangs were exploiting a technology known as punycode, which converts non-English character codes into more familiar formats.

British Airways was a popular target for gangs using these attacks, said the security firm. Google engineer Emily Stark talked about the “evil domain” spotter at the Usenix Enigma security conference last week.

Google has also shared early versions of the tool to help web developers test and refine it. While Chrome already includes features that aim to spot known unsafe sites, the new tool would go much further. Ms Stark said more needed to be done, because currently staying secure often relied on users.

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