Google Safe Browsing API Now Available to All Android App Developers
Safe Browsing is a Google service that lets client applications check URLs in contrast to Google's constantly updated lists of unsafe web resources. Examples of unsafe web resources are sites that host malware or unwanted software and social engineering sites.
Google's Safe Browsing enterprise has been around for a long time now, and it has been extending its database actively to keep malware and phishers at bay. Now, Google has declared that it is releasing an API as well for Android apps to take advantage of the long list of blacklisted websites too.
Google says that the API is simple and straightforward to use, with the same SafetyNet technology in use that has worked hundreds of millions of warnings to millions of mobile users.
The Safe Browsing API uses the newest version of the Safe Browsing Network Protocol, meaning it's designed to be as quick as possible. Apps that use this API can identify what threats they want to avoid, either malware or phishing sites. The API is part of Google Play Services, meaning it's available to applications all the way back to Android 2.3.
Google Safe Browsing is a database used by Firefox, Chrome, and even Safari as a checklist for all malevolent sites on the Internet vortex. It blocks websites that hold malware and conduct phishing activities. It came into reality in 2007 and has been actively updated ever since. The Safe Browsing database was first only presented on the desktop, but Google last year announced it first in Android for Chrome users. Now, the API will let all Android developers to take advantage.
“Since our initial launch we’ve shown hundreds of millions of warnings, actively warning many millions of mobile users about badness before they’re exposed to it,” Google employees wrote in a blog post. “We look forward to all Android developers extending this same protection to their users, too.”
Google has confirmed that they have now introduced the ability for third-party app developers to take account of the Safe Browsing technology into their apps. That means that third-party apps will be able to provide a similar level of protection to its users and help them to avoid visiting annoying or harmful websites and URLs, by drawing on Safe Browsing’s vast database.
"Since we introduced client-side Safe Browsing on Android, updated our documentation for Safe Browsing Protocol Version 4 (pver4), and also released our reference pver4 implementation in Go, we've been able to see how much protection this new technology provides to all our users. Since our initial launch we've shown hundreds of millions of warnings, actively warning many millions of mobile users about badness before they're exposed to it," the company said in its blog) post.
The API uses the newest version of Safe Browsing, and Google has detailed the procedure for developers to get the API here. A current website that has been blacklisted is The Pirate Bay torrent site. Firefox and Chrome are popping warnings on the site appealing that 'it contains harmful programs'. Apparently, Safari users aren't seeing this warning, permitting its users to freely download potentially dangerous content from the website.