Google Chrome is blocking all downloads from Portable Apps
Google Chrome is blocking all downloads from the third-party website Portable Apps currently and returning "dangerous" as the reason for that.
Portable Apps is a popular destination for downloading Windows applications that don't need to be installed. The site maintains a large list of programs for Windows that users from all over the world may download; this includes portable versions of programs that don't support one officially.
Google Chrome users who attempted to download applications from Portable Apps in the past couple of days noticed that the integrated Safe Browsing feature of the browser was blocking downloads. Chrome blocked the download and returned "dangerous" as the reason.
Downloads in other browsers continue to work. Firefox, which uses a special version of Google's Safe Browsing, downloads files just fine. Brave, which uses Google Safe Browsing, blocks the download just like Chrome. Microsoft Edge warns users that the files are not commonly downloaded, but does not flag the downloads as malicious. Other browsers may display warnings or allow downloads directly.
Chrome displays one main action -- delete -- in the browser's download panel after starting a download from Portable Apps. A click on the tiny arrow on the right of it displays information and an option to keep the download.
The box "I understand this download will harm my computer" needs to be checked before the continue download button becomes active. The frightening message is overshooting it this time, as the downloaded programs test fine on Google's Virustotal service. There may be a small number of false positives, but all major antivirus engines do not detect threats in the downloaded files.
Portable Apps has begun to redirect downloads to SourceForge for the time being to allow Chrome users to download files unhindered.
A post on the official site reveals additional information on the issue. According to the post, Portable Apps noticed the issue on July 23, 2022 for the first time. The operators have requested a review of the issue, but have not heard back yet from Google.
It appears that they have contacted third-party antivirus vendors as well, which flagged files as problematic on VirusTotal.
It is unclear right now why Safe Browsing is flagging the files, but they don't appear to be malicious. The issue is likely going to be sorted out in the near future.
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