Apple has yet again announced a cool new security feature for iPhone users. And it’s said to be the much-awaited one! The upcoming iOS 14.5 security update will have a new feature that will re-route all Safari’s Safe Browsing traffic via Apple-monitored proxy servers to prevent Google from discovering the IP addresses of iOS users. However, the new feature will only work when users activate the “Fraudulent Website Warning” option on the device.
What is Fraudulent Website Warning?
Some websites use third-party content providers to track users across websites to advertise their products and services. The Fraudulent Website Warning option removes and blocks the data that websites use to track users in Safari. When Fraudulent Website Warning is enabled, Safari will display a warning alert if the website you are visiting is a malicious or phishing site. Safari also sends the suspicious website details to Google Safe Browsing to check the website’s legitimacy.
How to Activate Fraudulent Website Warning
You can enable Fraudulent Website Warnings in Safari by going to Settings >> Safari >> sliding the Fraudulent Website Warning switch to On.
This article is a bit confused on the details of how Safe Browsing works, but in the new iOS beta, Safari does indeed proxy the service via Apple servers to limit the risk of information leak.https://t.co/TlDZNMO8do
— othermaciej (@othermaciej) February 11, 2021
Browsing with Google v/s Apple
Google identifies malicious websites by scanning portions of Google’s web index and adds them to its online database if they prove to be suspicious. Apple sends a hashed prefix of the suspected website’s URL to Google Safe Browsing to check if it has been listed in its database. With the latest iOS 14.5 update, Apple users will experience enhanced web security while browsing on Safari.
Recently, Samuel Grob, a security researcher at Google Project Zero, uncovered a new security feature that Apple added in its iOS 14 version without any revelation. Dubbed “BlastDoor,” the improved sandbox system feature was introduced due to the zero-click exploits that leveraged the Apple iMessage flaw in iOS 13.5.1. Reportedly, the iPhones of 36 Al Jazeera journalists were infected with malware, leaving their devices open to cyber espionage.