All major browsers offer users the option to change the default search engine or add new ones – this also applies to Chromium-based products, of course. But recently, there’s been a change that few people might have noticed: The default search engines in Google Chrome and other browsers can no longer be modified or deleted.
It is very easy to change the default search engine or add a new provider in Chromium browsers, which is what Google likes to emphasize over and over again in its many claims. Until now, it was also possible to modify search engines that were set up for previous work, but since Chrome 97 and current Chromium versions, this is no longer possible. Users only have the option to change the name and shortcut, but no longer the URL. It is no longer possible to delete previously selected search engines.
As a result, it is no longer possible to remove the list of previously assigned providers; Users can only add new providers. If you work a lot with the address bar search functionality, you’ve probably entered a whole bunch of additional search engines there anyway.
This step is justified by the fact that previously the attackers had the opportunity to change these values. In this way, the standard search engine can be “hijacked” and redirect traffic to the attacker’s websites. A major potential hazard, one that is only mitigated, not prevented. Nothing prevents attackers from copying one of the pre-selected search engines and entering it into the list. Although the user has to switch to this himself, but with a supposedly reliable application, this can certainly be done.
» Shazam: Music recognition in the browser – Apple launches new Chrome extension with Apple Music connection[GHacks]
Subscribe to the GoogleWatchBlog newsletter