Google Chrome uses database from Google Safe Browsing (https://safebrowsing.google.com/) to protect the users from all kinds of malicious websites including phishing sites. They also notify the webmasters when their websites become compromised. But everyday cyber-criminals create hundreds of new malicious sites. These new malicious sites may not be included in the Google Safe Browsing database.
This is why Google has created an extension called Suspicious Site Reporter. This extension looks for some signs that can make a website look suspicious and can foretell if you are visiting possibly a phishing website. It determines whether a website is looking suspicious based on the following factors:
- How many times have you visited a website before? For example, if you have been using PayPal then you must have visited it before. But then you land on a phishing PayPal look-alike website, it will immediately raise the flag that you have never visited this website before.
- Does the domain include uncommon characters? Some phishing sites use internationalized domain names that are actually in different languages but are encoded to use the Latin character set. These domain name start with xn— and could make it very confusing for the users to see which website they are visiting.
- Is the website among the top 5000 sites? If you are using a popular online shopping, banking or funds transfer website, then chances are that the site would be top 5000 sites. But if you follow a link from an email message to visit PayPal and the domain is not top 5000, then it could be a phishing site.
If any of these criteria is met for a website you are visiting, you are shown a red flag in the omnibar with the number of alerts. If you are visiting a popular website with safe and secure domain name, then you will see the green flag. Moreover, you can report the suspicious sites to Google by clicking on the red button. In the report, the screenshot of the suspicious website, URL, IP address, HTML content, and its referrer chain is included.
At the same time, not all websites that Suspicious Site Reporter flags to be suspicious are harmful. For example, not all safe websites make it to the top 5000 websites. This extension just gives you a possibility that you should be careful and examine the site currently open first.
You can get the Suspicious Site Reporter extension for Chrome from https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/suspicious-site-reporter/jknemblkbdhdcpllfgbfekkdciegfboi/.