Speaking at the Bay Area Enigma security conference this week, Chrome’s usable security lead attempted to address the controversy over Google’s desire to “kill off URLs as we know them.” (Alternate source for paywall.) According to Ms. Stark, they’re a liability, in that hackers can easily trick users about the identity of a page (e.g., G00gle rather than Google), scamming them with malicious links that forward them to phishing sites. "People should know easily what site they’re on, and they shouldn’t be confused into thinking they’re on another site. It shouldn’t take advanced knowledge of how the internet works to figure that out." The Chrome team's efforts so far focus on figuring out how to detect URLs that seem to deviate in some way from standard practice. The foundation for this is an open source tool called TrickURI, launching in step with Stark's conference talk, that helps developers check that their software is displaying URLs accurately and consistently. The goal is to give developers something to test against so they know how URLs are going to look to users in different situations. Separate from TrickURI, Stark and her colleagues are also working to create warnings for Chrome users when a URL seems potentially phishy.