Google announced yesterday three new security features for Chrome that will help the company's browser detect and fight intrusive extensions and invasive software.

The features are part of a long-standing effort that also includes tools like the company's SafeBrowsing API.

Simpler warnings when extensions hijack settings

The first is Chrome's new ability to detect whenever an extension makes changes to the user's default settings. These include settings for the user's search engine, homepage, or proxy settings.

When this happens, Chrome will show a warning like the one below, allowing the user to restore his previous settings.

Chrome settings reset

In case users accidentally dismiss the notification popups or an extension has hijacked multiple settings at once, Google has also added the ability to access one settings section page and reset the entire user profile with one click. This page is located at:


Chrome reset page

Google embeds Chrome Cleanup Tool in Chrome for Windows

The second new Chrome security feature is a well-known tool named Chrome Cleanup Tool, previously offered as a standalone app.

This tool is now included with Chrome for Windows by default and runs automatically to detect when users install intrusive software that also affects Chrome's settings and behavior.

"The Chrome Cleanup feature alerts people when it detects unwanted software and offers a quick way to remove the software and return Chrome to its default settings," Google said.

Google says it recently completed a full redesign of the entire tool, which is now more straightforward to use via clearer popups that appear when Chrome detects something wrong.

Chrome Cleanup popup

Chrome embeds part of ESET's detection engine

How does Chrome detect something wrong? Well, this is the third security feature Google added, and this is the integration of ESET's detection engine with Chrome's sandbox technology.

"Note this new sandboxed engine is not a general-purpose antivirus," Philippe Rivard, Product Manager for Chrome Cleanup said. "It only removes software that doesn’t comply with our unwanted software policy."

The new features didn't excite some users, though. "What a clever way to scan every piece of software you download to your PC and data collect what you're downloading," said a user commenting on news-sharing site Slashdot.

Other recently added Google Chrome security features include the browser's ability to detect some Man-in-the-Middle attacks.

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