You know that fun game you play every time you wander over to Download.com 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 Download.com 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.