October 17, 2017 // 10:37 a.m.
Google has officially unveiled new features for its popular Chrome web browser which, the company claims, improve the software's ability to recover from the installation of potentially unwanted software.
Part of a security-themed overhaul to the latest release of Google's Chrome browser, which is built upon the open-source Chromium projects, the company's changes are designed to make the package more robust in the face of malicious or simply unwelcome add-ons and extensions. Chief among these changes is a major revision to the Chrome Cleanup engine, which is used to detect and remove unwanted software before restoring Chrome's settings back to how they were prior to the installation, in partnership with security specialist ESET.
'Under the hood, we upgraded the technology we use in Chrome Cleanup to detect and remove unwanted software. We worked with IT security company ESET to combine their detection engine with Chrome’s sandbox technology,' explains Google's Philippe Rivard, product manager for Chrome Cleanup, in the company's announcement. 'We can now detect and remove more unwanted software than ever before, meaning more people can benefit from Chrome Cleanup. Note this new sandboxed engine is not a general-purpose antivirus — it only removes software that doesn’t comply with our unwanted software policy.'
As well as a more powerful engine, the revised Chrome Cleanup comes with a simpler and more streamlined user interface. When unwelcome software is detected, Rivard explains, the user will see a pop-up dialogue prompting to remove it with a single click - and, by default, reporting details of the infection back to Google. Those looking for more information can click on the Details button, while if for some reason you wanted to keep the flagged software - such as if there was a false positive detection - there's a Cancel button.
The new Google Cleanup has begun rolling out to users of the Windows build now, says Rivard, with other platforms to follow in due course.