Strange security message from Chrome

Report & help check download problems, corrupted files, badly-named files, bad links etc. (NOT for style & reading complaints)
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Post by DonnTerry » November 30th, 2019, 11:31 pm

I just tried downloading The Missing Formula. missing_formula_1812_librivox_64kb_mp3_zip.

Chrome is giving me the message " is not commonly downloaded" and giving me the option to accept, discard, or go to
(Whether that URL will work for you isn't obvious, since it seems to have a unique identifier. I've pasted the webpage content below just in case it doesn't.)

I don't think this is a concern specific to this file, based on what I see there about "uncommon" files, but rather one that isn't accessed very often(?). But someone "official" from Librivox might want to pursue it further so that others don't get that in the future. It's likely to be scary to many Librivox users.
(I did a few other downloads today with no troubles; it was neither the first nor the last. I accepted the file and it seems to be exactly as expected.)

The paste below doesn't include another link that's visible from the actual web page:, which is a more detailed explanation of what's going on.
That in turn takes you to a page to the Google console and goes beyond anything I'm familiar with.

I couldn't find any other instances of this error on the forum so I thought I'd get a discussion started.


Here's the actual text - less formatting (sorry, blame paste), but I added some whitespace because the meaning changes without it. (The sentence "We've found..." is in a list of possibilities, not a conclusion!)

Code: Select all

Google Chrome blocks downloads
Chrome automatically blocks harmful downloads that try to cause problems on your computer, like:

  Giving you viruses
  Leaking your private data
  Changing your browser and computer settings
  Adding unwanted extensions or toolbars to your browser

Why the download was blocked
  Your file download may have been blocked for one of two reasons:

  We think it might be a malicious, unwanted, or uncommon file.
     Malicious: You tried downloading malware.
     Unwanted: You tried downloading a deceptive piece of software. This program, disguised as a helpful download, may actually make unexpected changes to your computer.
     Uncommon: You tried downloading an unfamiliar and potentially dangerous piece of software.
  We've found that the website you tried to download the file from has been known to distribute malware.

More info for software developers and website owners
   To help protect users, Google maintains a list of websites that are known to host malicious downloads and a list of trusted software publishers. If you're a software publisher and your binaries are flagged by 
  Chrome, learn how to resolve malware or unwanted software issues related to your downloads.

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Post by dlolso21 » December 1st, 2019, 1:33 am


I could not replicate your error message. When I downloaded the file you identified with Google Chrome it downloaded normally without any prompts or errors.

I also tested the file with Firefox and Microsoft Edge without encountering a problem.

David O

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Joined: March 18th, 2019, 9:24 am

Post by DonnTerry » December 1st, 2019, 11:29 am

David, that's useful to know.
I'm actually less-than-surprised. <guesswork>Google somehow counts downloads and if it's below some threshold, it's "not commonly downloaded". If it crosses the threshold, then the complaint doesn't occur.
Possibly my download was the one that "did it". It could also be slightly different versions of Chrome since it's frequently changing. </guesswork>

If the Librivox website keeps the right data, it might be possible to infer the process, but I don't have (and don't really want :-) ) access to that.


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Post by annise » December 1st, 2019, 12:59 pm

We keep no download data, as Archive handles all our downloads. They do have a version called "views" but how that would relate to whatever Chrome uses I do not know.


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