In 2017, Google announced the Advanced Protection Program (APP) for securing the accounts of high-risk individuals such as journalists, business executives, activists, and people involved in electoral processes.
While the service is free to use, people enrolling in the program will have to pay a fee to obtain a security key.
In August 2019, Google announced that the Chrome APP would automatically scan for dangerous downloads, turn on alerts if needed, and block downloads of malicious files.
Today the company announced further improvements to this feature.
In one suspension In its blog, Google states that APP clients are already protected from phishing and that Chrome warns when downloading dangerous files. The company seems to be going a step further by allowing APP users to send dangerous files directly to Google to scan for potential threats.
The company will use the cloud-hosting Safe Browsing suite to detect malware to analyze any files uploaded by users to its service.
When a user downloads a file, Safe Browsing will perform a quick check using metadata, such as the hashes of the file, to assess if it looks suspicious. Any downloads considered safe by Safe Browsing will show the user a warning and the ability to send the file for scanning. If the user chooses to send the file, Chrome will upload it to Google Safe Browsing, which will scan it using real-time static and dynamic analysis techniques. After a short wait, if Safe Browsing detects that the file is not secure, Chrome will alert the user. As always, users can skip the alert and open the file without scanning if they are sure the file is safe. Safe Browsing deletes files you upload shortly after scanning.
You can find more details about the program here.