Chrome is working on an update to stop browser history and back button hijacking

Google engineers have a new feature under development that aims to curb back button hijacking in Chrome.

Currently, the hijacking happens when a shady website is visited by accident. The website pushes visitors forward onto an ad page or pop-up. When the user tries to press the Back button to go to the previous page, the browser reloads the same page over and over again and keeps the user trapped on the ad page.

The way the hijackers make the website function is by having the site perform constant redirects toward the same URL. That pollutes the browser history because it now shows that the previous page you were on is the page you’re currently stuck on, and that effectively renders the Back button useless.

Another way site hijackers can trap users on a webpage is by secretly inserting ad pages inside the browser history list. When the user goes back to a previous page there is an ad there, instead of the real site previously visited.

Thankfully, the project Google is working on will allow Chrome to detect when browser history entries have been generated by user interaction, or by an automated method.

The endgame, of course, is to block or skip these fake history entries altogether.

Hopefully, this under development project will make a debut in a 2019 Chrome update.

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