Google Goes To War Against Annoying Fake Download Buttons

Google Goes to War Against Annoying Fake Download Buttons

You know that fun game you play every time you wander over to and try to download an app? The game where you have to find the right download button in a sea of buttons or risk infecting your computer with malware until the end of time? Well, it's game over man. Yesterday Google announced, via its security blog, that it would begin automatically blocking pages that feature fake download buttons. The move is part of its Safe Browsing program's war on "social engineering" ads. Social engineering is described by Google as "deceptive tactics that try to trick you into doing something dangerous".

In November Google officially characterised ads as being guilty of social engineering if they did the following:

  • Pretend to act, or look and feel, like a trusted entity -- like your own device or browser, or the website itself.
  • Try to trick you into doing something you'd only do for a trusted entity -- like sharing a password or calling tech support.

The awful fake download buttons regularly found at places like KeepVid and definitely qualify.

The new Safe Browsing feature should go into effect immediately, so expect to field confused calls from parents trying to download Solitaire within the next few hours.

[Google Online Security via TorrentFreak]



    Great news all around 😁

      Wait, how did you get that coloured emoticon to work?

        All revealed here. Click ok to download emoticon pack

          If you've linked those icons, they're not working, but thanks anyway.
          Wadeaminut... :)

          Last edited 06/02/16 9:06 am

            Either that or I'm using my phone emoticon button which must insert emoji things

    Does this block the ad, or does it block the entire site? I understand that in FF or Edge google can't overwrite the css. But Chrome could replace the download button ad with something obvious.

    This seams like they'll just offer a splash screen warning?

    Are you serious? They have had 10 years or more to do something about this, why has it taken so long?

      . . .

      Why hasn't anyone else? They've had 20 years to do it!

      Also, Chrome isn't even 8 years old.

      Last edited 05/02/16 2:13 pm

    So I guess CNET will be on there with there you have to download our downloaded app to see this download.

    I am not happy with this at all... I was sharing PDF files, for example, with my clients without any problems in the past. But now my download link is treated as a 'fake download button' (I am using a third party file transfer facilities). Who at Google considers if this is a 'fake download' or not? Can they provide a safe alternative for a large file transfers?

    That's cool but adblock seems like a better solution.

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