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Microsoft boosts anti-phishing skills of Chrome, the IE and Edge killer

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Microsoft has ceded a major asset of its Edge browser to rival Google by releasing an add-on that boosts Chrome’s phishing detection skills.

The Redmond, Wash. company had little choice, according to one analyst. “Phishing is a huge problem, and people are going to use the browser they use,” said Michael Cherry of Directions on Microsoft. “They’re doing this to protect the Windows ecosystem.”

Dubbed “Windows Defender Browser Protection” (WDBP) the free extension can be added to Chrome on Windows or macOS, and after a post-launch fix, Chrome OS as well. Like the defenses built into Edge, the add-on relies on Microsoft’s SmartScreen technology that warns users of potentially malicious websites that may try to download malware to the machine or of sites linked in email messages that lead to known phishing URLs.

Microsoft keeps a constantly-changing list of these likely bad destinations on its servers, that list generated in part from telemetry sent by SmartScreen users.