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Google teaches Chrome Canary to sing when it sniffs dodgy downloads

Bleeding-edge browser shoots down malware on sightsmell

Reducing security risks from open source software

Google has equipped its experimental "Canary" distribution of the Chrome web browser with a malware-spotting capability to protect users from malicious downloads.

The security upgrade was announced by Google on Thursday and means the browser will scan downloaded executable files for the presence of viruses and Trojans, and notify punters if it finds any.

"In the current Canary build of Chrome, we’ll automatically block downloads of malware that we detect," the advertising giant said. "If you see this message in the download tray at the bottom of your screen, you can click 'Dismiss' knowing Chrome is working to keep you safe. "

Canary is the bleeding-edge version of the Chrome browser and receives nightly updates. Google cautions users that it's "not for the faint of heart" as it can be "prone to breakage".

This vulture has been using Chrome Canary as one of his three primary browsers for several months and can testify that it can break in confusing and infuriating ways from time to time.

That said, it tends to be extremely fast and seems to have a mildly smaller memory footprint than stock Chrome.

Along with the malware-sniffing feature, Google has also added a "reset browser settings" button into stock Chrome tht lets you roll the browser back to its original state in case you catch a dash of browser-distorting malware. ®

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