After the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s hard for the netizens to trust almost anyone on the internet. Be it Google or someone else.
As per a report by Motherboard, people are freaking out because they found Chrome scanning for malware on their computer. So, what’s wrong with that?
First of all, it’s totally unexpected from a web browser that it would be an undercover antivirus tool. Also, the malware scanning featuring has been in existence without any publicity from Google.
Chrome’s file scanning activities were first spotted by a security researcher Kelly Shortridge who posted the details on Twitter.
I was wondering why my Canarytoken (a file folder) was triggering & discovered the culprit was chrome.exe. Turns out @googlechrome quietly began performing AV scans on Windows devices last fall. Wtf m8? This isn’t a system dir, either, it’s in Documents pic.twitter.com/IQZPSVpkz7
— Kelly Shortridge (@swagitda_) March 29, 2018
The tool is actually an updated version of the Chrome Cleanup Tool (CCT). Google dropped a word about it last year that went mostly unnoticed.
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Powered by ESET’s technology, it keeps looking for malware that could mess with Chrome and install rogue extensions or bombard ads. After detection, it sends meta information to Google and then asks the user whether to remove the malicious files or not.
Chrome’s security head Justin Schuh explained that CCT is not a general purpose AV. “Its sole purpose is to detect and remove unwanted software manipulating Chrome.”
The heavily sandboxed tool runs in the background with normal user privileges for around 15 minutes every week. There may not be anything for the users to worry as CCT doesn’t have any evil intentions, but creeped out users would have welcomed a more visible operation.