October 1, 2022
Study claims up to 75 percent of phishing websites make it past Chrome's defenses

TL;DR: A consumer watchdog company called Which?, which for our grammatical sanity we will refer to as Which from here on, says that Google’s Chrome browser does not recognize the vast majority of phishing websites. Google questions the study’s validity and methodology.

According to Which’s study of the top 800 newly discovered phishing websites, Chrome only blocks 28 percent of them in Windows and 25 percent on macOS. These numbers are in stark contrast to the top performing browser Firefox, which redirects users away from 85 percent of those websites in Windows and 78 percent on Macs.

“This study’s methodology and findings demand scrutiny. For more than 10 years, Google has helped set the anti-phishing standard — and freely provided the underlying technology — for other browsers. Google and Mozilla often partner to improve the security of the web, and Firefox relies primarily on Google’s Safe Browsing API to block phishing — but the researchers indicated that Firefox provided significantly more phishing protection than Chrome. It’s highly unlikely that browsers using the same technology for phishing detection would differ meaningfully in the level of protection they offer, so we remain sceptical [sic] of this report’s findings.”

Phishing scams have been around for almost as long as the internet. Often they take the form of an email or text message with links to a fraudulent website disguised as an official login page for any number of legit companies. Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers try to filter out these suspicious websites.

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