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Google Chrome could soon block back-button hijacks

GOOGLE CHROME is looking at ways of stopping websites from nicking the ‘back button’ for their own nefarious purposes.

If you dig around the crap part of the web for long enough, you’ll find websites that have added code that results in the use of the back button taking you somewhere other than the last page you looked at.

It can take various forms – a completely different site altogether, or reloading the page you are already on so you can never leave like some weird digital Hotel California.

Known internally as “history manipulation”, it’s something that Google engineers have had in their sights for a while. Now, they have worked out a way for the system to reliably check if the trick is in use on a particular site.

At this stage, it’s an experimental process, evidenced only by Chromium and any positives are simply flagged to the user and the data sent back to Google for analysis.

It’s also worth pointing out that one Chromium code commit does not a Chromium feature make, and there’s every chance that this will never see the light of day in its current form, notwithstanding that it’s very “on message” for Chrome’s recent updates.

In recent months we’ve seen complete bans on any kind of “suspect” adverts, penalises unencrypted sites, Symantec certificates, plus of course Chrome led the way in the demise of Adobe Flash – (and good riddance).

As ever, Chrome goes through three stages – Dev, Canary, Beta before hitting Stable, meaning it’ll be a minimum of three months before this feature is available to the general public, and most likely a bit longer than that even, but it’s good to know that Chrome is still looking for new ways of making us all that little bit safer.

In the meantime, you’ll know if it’s live, if you’re feeling intrepid enough to look in the flags menu – it’ll look like this: #enable-skip-redirecting-entries-on-back-forward-ui µ  

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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