Tags 12 Comments Share your voice Security It’s hard to be sure where you are on the internet these days. Carefully checking the URL is one approach to avoiding danger. Trouble is, many fraudulent websites use tricks to make their URLs look like the real deal. Now, Google wants to call them out.To do that, the company is developing a new warning in its Chrome browser that appears when you’re visiting a site that’s mimicking a well-known web page. The warning could ask you, for example, if you actually meant to go to “paypal.com” when you were headed to a lookalike scam site called “paypa1.com” instead.The warning is intended to take the pressure off you to notice when something’s wrong with the URL. That’s important because most people don’t notice when they’re headed off to a scam site, Google Chrome engineer Emily Stark said in a talk on Tuesday at the Enigma Conference, a security and privacy event. “What people are seeing in the URL bar really just isn’t helpful to them as a security mechanism,” Stark said.The warning could help make it harder to carry out on one of the most pervasive and effective hacking attacks out there — phishing. If users heed Chrome warnings, it could save them from entering usernames, passwords or credit card information into websites controlled by criminals. It could also keep them from downloading malicious software at scam websites that could do things like encrypt their data and demand a ransom.Scammy websites use a number of tricks to look legitimate in that URL field at the top of your web browser. They might use a slight misspelling, or swap out the number one for a lowercase letter L to look like a legitimate website. The latter is called a homograph attack, and it’s powerful because it usually involves characters that the untrained eye will miss. The new warning, which is still being tested, alerts users to the fact that they aren’t heading to a popular website or a website they’ve engaged with in the past. If the user wants to keep going in that direction, they can click “ignore.” Stark said her team wanted to throw up a flag for users without overselling the danger.”We designed this warning to be informational rather than scary,” she said. The talk follows comments Chrome security experts made in September about security problems involving URLs. At the time, Google said its engineers were researching how to make changes to the way Chrome handles URLs in order to improve safety. On Tuesday, Stark said changes Google and other software developers propose should be “incremental.” Still, no idea is too crazy to at least consider, she said.”Website identity is so, so broken that all ideas should be on the table,” Stark said. Hacking Privacy
Share KUTJose Guerrero walks around with his parrot at the Delco Center for Harvey evacuees in Austin.Thousands of people are finding their way to dry blankets and warm socks in shelters all across Texas. Dallas expects to host as many as 10,000 people fleeing Harvey; in Austin, as many as 7,000. Donations keep trickling in.But there’s one big need that’s still out there: multi-lingual volunteers.Walking into the Delco Center – one of Austin’s shelters for Harvey evacuees – you might remember that Houston was recently dubbed the most diverse city in America. A little less than half the people there speak a language other than English.Many are bilingual like much the rest of Texas. But not all.“I would certainly encourage [people] out there, if they are bilingual or trilingual, to certainly volunteer,” says Geof Sloan of the Red Cross.Tuesday morning there were no Spanish-speaking volunteers at the shelter. But, Sloan says, one of the evacuees from Freeport rose to the challenge.“Anything I can do to help, just let me know,” says Maria Villagomez. “You also need a lot of help, and helping each other is a great idea.”Also at the shelter was Jose Guerrero. Walking around with the family’s yellow- and-green parrot on his shoulder, he was hard to miss.At the time, he was on the phone with his sisters. They were still trapped in Richmond, Texas.Guerrero says leaving Richmond in the middle of a disaster – and finding answers to his questions when he doesn’t speak English – has been tough.Forty-seven-year-old Guerrero was born in Mexico and has been in the U.S. since he was 15. He’s been here much longer than he ever was in his home country. He’s a naturalized American, but he’s never been able to learn how to speak English.“I’m a little mad with myself that I don’t speak English,” he says in Spanish. “I don’t know what to tell you. Have I been lazy to learn? I’m a gardener. Have I worked too much and haven’t had time to go to school? I just don’t know.”Later that day, a bilingual volunteer arrived at the shelter. Maribel Canizales does IT work for the state comptroller’s office, but took the week off to work for the Red Cross.Immediately after she arrived, a family of Spanish speakers showed up. The mother asked if there were any showers available and Canizales walked the family to the showers, asking what else they needed: Shampoo? Socks?The adults were clearly shaken. As Canizales led them through the center, she casually put her arms around the mom.So what does it means to someone when somebody speaks their language? “There’s a connection … it makes them feel at home,” Canizales says, crying. “I want those people to feel at home, comfortable and welcomed.”Canizales is originally from Laredo. She gets emotional because, as a child, she was told not to speak Spanish.“When I came to Austin, it was very segregated back in the 70’s,” she says. “We were not very welcomed with our language, and so we were encouraged to speak English. And so, I kept up on the side with my native language, Spanish.”Today, anyone who’s been keeping up with a language other than English is encouraged to fill out a volunteer application and complete the training for the Red Cross. People who speak languages from India, Europe and Asia are needed too.Copyright 2017 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.