Google has updated Safe Browsing, which will provide real-time phishing protection. The feature alerts when users log in and browse a potentially dangerous site.

Although since the service was launched 15 years ago, it has warned users about sites that could put them at risk, according to the company, over time these types of sites have adapted in a way that can easily bypass Safe Browsing and therefore a momentary response is needed to protect the user.

In addition to detecting potentially dangerous sites over the years, Safe Browsing compiles a list of them for the user to consult in case of any doubts about the safety of a particular site they wish to visit.

Currently, the standard Safe Browsing feature checks sites, downloads and extensions against a local list of malicious URLs downloaded from Google’s servers every 30 to 60 minutes.

With its latest update, Google is introducing real-time protection to the standard protection mode to prevent the danger of temporary malicious sites appearing and disappearing in less than 10 minutes.

With the new real-time protection mode, dangerous sites will be added to this list as soon as they are detected.

According to Google, this is done in a privacy-preserving way by converting the URL into 32-byte full hashes and sending the hash prefixes to a privacy server to remove information that could be used to identify the user before sending it to the server for safe browsing.

“Ultimately, Safe Browsing sees the hash prefixes of your URL but not your IP address, and the privacy server sees your IP address but not the hash prefixes. No single party has access to both your identity and the hash prefixes. As such, your browsing activity remains private,” researchers from Google Chrome Security and Google Safe Browsing wrote in a blog post.

Once they hit the server for safe browsing, the hash prefixes are decrypted and compared against a server-side database that provides the full hashes of all matches. This allows Chrome to display a warning for that site without violating user privacy.

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