At the beginning of 2019 we told you that the Google Chrome team wanted to start blocking downloads of dangerous files such as .exe, for this would start treating certain downloads as “risky” provided they originate from a secure context (HTTPS), but the download link will use a non-secure context (HTTP).
Back then that was just a proposal, but now they have announced specific plans to make these measures a reality. Starting with Chrome 82, which will be released next April, we will begin to see warnings when we try to download risk files and later, Chrome will block them.
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The executable files will be the first affected
Those files like .exe (Windows executables) or .apk (Android executables), will be the first to be treated as risky by Chrome, but with the following releases more file types will be added such as .zip, .iso, and even .pdf, .docx, and even .png or. .mp3 files.
Changes will occur progressively between the release of Chrome 82 and Chrome 86 or later. Idea is first warn the user when trying to download a file from a link that does not use a secure connection, and for the next version of Chrome it will be completely blocked.
This is to give website administrators time to get their affairs in order. That is, if a website that offers downloads of any kind already uses an HTTPS connection but the download links continue to use an HTTP connection, Chrome will block them sooner or later.
Chrome 82 will start by warning about .exe and .apk. Chrome 83 will block these and start warning about .zip and .iso. Chrome 84 will block all of the above and start warning about .pdf and .docx. Chrome 85 will block all of the above and start warning about .png and .mp3. Chrome 86 would block all of the above file types as long as the download link uses insecure connections.
Interestingly, Microsoft Edge also has plans to block unsafe app downloads, only the Redmond plan is somewhat different. Edge will use Microsoft Defender features to block potentially unwanted apps coming from “bad reputable” sites.
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