Google is cracking down on malicious Windows applications with an expansion of its browsing blacklist.
The search engine giant announced the expansion of its Safe Browsing API, which has been used by web browsers for the past five years to identify potential pitfalls for users, such as infected websites and drive-by downloads.
Chrome users downloading malicious Windows executables can now expect pop-up warning when they attempt to download the file.
The data published by Google's Safe Browsing API is used by Chrome, Firefox and Safari to help flag malicious websites, but the most recent change will initially only be available to Chrome users who subscribe to its development release channel.
Google senior engineer Moheeb Abu Rajab said the expansion will help prevent social engineering attempts to trick users into downloading malicious content.
"[The Safe Browsing API] has done a lot of good for the web, yet the internet remains rife with deceptive and harmful content. It's easy to find sites hosting free downloads that promise one thing but actually behave quite differently," Rajab said in a Google blog.
"They use social engineering to entice users to download and run the malicious content."