Google Chrome developers are working on a new feature that will warn users about “lookalike URLs”. This term refers to the less visited and obscure websites that may have a similar URL to a popular website what the user may visit. In case of a typo, while entering the URL in the address bar, this feature will warn users with the website that they may be planning to visit. This feature is likely to combat the menace of fake news and disinformation where malicious actors copy legit looking websites on similar looking URLs to mislead users. This method is also used by cybercriminals for phishing attacks to mislead users into giving away their login details.
According to a report by ZDNet, the company has been working on this new feature “for quite some time” to combat against cyber attacks. Most of these cyber attacks dependent on URL hijacking, creaking fake, similar looking URLs and even something called as IDN homograph attack where cybercriminals use similar looking symbols in a URL to mislead users. Google has rolled out this feature as part of the Canary release channel for Google Chrome.
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As part of the feature, the company is also currently testing “Navigation suggestions for lookalike URLs” which is a popup that appears under the address bar when the feature detects a look-alike URL. Once the fake URL is detected, the suggestion bar appears below the address bar offering the correct website that the user may be trying to visit. The report also noted that the same feature flag is currently present in the stable version of Chrome but does not work properly. The company has revealed no details about when it is planning to roll it out to the world.