Google Chrome Declares War on “Lookalike URLs”

One of the new features coming to Google Chrome is a warning for what the search giant calls “lookalike URLs,” a term that defines a website address very similar to a known domain.

For example, a lookalike URL can be considered softped1a.com, which is too similar to softpedia.com and can be used for malicious purposes, like phishing.

However, as GHacks notes, the purpose of this warning isn’t necessarily to block phishing scams, as such protections are already part of Google Chrome.

Instead, the new feature will let you load the website, but display a notification at the top of the screen to make sure you didn’t want to visit a popular site.

Possibly coming in the next stable update

The browser will thus begin to display “did you mean to go to” warnings whenever you load such lookalike URLs, and it’s believed the feature could make it to the next stable version of Google Chrome.

The search giant is currently testing the feature as part of Canary versions, which are early builds of its future Chrome updates, and if everything is working correctly, expect it to be promoted to more stable versions of the browser very soon.

Interestingly enough, Google plans to use the lookalike URLs warning based on Chrome algorithms, which means the entire detection of domains that you mistyped could take place locally. This way, the warning could help reduce the harm a potentially dangerous website would do on your system immediately after typing the URL.

Google Chrome is currently the world’s number one desktop browser with a market share that goes beyond the 65% threshold. Given how popular it is, such updates are obviously welcome, especially when taking into account that cyberattacks are becoming more complex and rely on tricks to evade the typical security protections.

The warning that Chrome will begin showing

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