Google Chrome, the security tidbits

Google Chrome, the security tidbits

Summary: The oft-rumored Google browser is real. It's called Google Chrome and it comes with a handful of security-related features like privacy mode and blacklist-based blocking of phishing and malware sites.

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TOPICS: Security, Browser, Google
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Google browser and securityThe oft-rumored Google browser is real. It's called Google Chrome and it comes with a handful of security-related features like privacy mode and blacklist-based blocking of phishing and malware sites.

[ PREVIOUSLY: Google hires browser hacking guru ]

A beta version of the new browser is expected to ship on Tuesday September 2 (Windows only) in more than 100 countries. A cartoon explanation also hints at the use of single-site browsers (like Mozilla's Prism) and tabbed browsing within sandboxes.

From the official announcement:

  • Under the hood, we were able to build the foundation of a browser that runs today's complex web applications much better. By keeping each tab in an isolated "sandbox", we were able to prevent one tab from crashing another and provide improved protection from rogue sites. We improved speed and responsiveness across the board. We also built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers.

Google said it used components from Apple's WebKit and Mozilla's Firefox to build the browser and plans to open-source all the code.

[ SEE: Microsoft confirms ‘InPrivate’ IE 8 ]

On the Google Blogoscoped blog, some of the security tidbits are mentioned:

  • Chrome has a privacy mode; Google says you can create an "incognito" window "and nothing that occurs in that window is ever logged on your computer." The latest version of Internet Explorer calls this InPrivate. Google's use-case for when you might want to use the "incognito" feature is e.g. to keep a surprise gift a secret. As far as Microsoft’s InPrivate mode is concerned, people also speculated it was a "porn mode."
  • Web apps can be launched in their own browser window without address bar and toolbar. Mozilla has a project called Prism that aims to do similar (though doing so may train users into accepting non-URL windows as safe or into ignoring the URL, which could increase the effectiveness of phishing attacks).
  • To fight malware and phishing attempts, Chrome is constantly downloading lists of harmful sites. Google also promises that whatever runs in a tab is sandboxed so that it won’t affect your machine and can be safely closed. Plugins the user installed may escape this security model, Google admits.

Dennis Fisher makes the case that Google Chrome is unlikely to attract security-minded Web surfers.

Topics: Security, Browser, Google

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19 comments
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  • web apps

    [pre]Web apps can be launched in their own browser window without address bar and toolbar. [/pre]
    "Web apps" are better known as "phishing sites"
    larry@...
    • It's a good idea..

      .. idiots aside.. it's a good feature.
      vmaatta
  • AWESOME!

    I can barely wait. And, it's about time! So cool! Go Google!
    jack of daniels
    • NOT AWESOME

      Google is NOT good... You see, the majority of people on the ZDNET website are morons. They blast companies out of the way once they get what they want. Guess what when Microsoft was started in 1974, No one cared. When it became big in the 80's and 90's, everyone loved them, and because everyone hates the new security implemented in Vista, everyone hates them now. Without Microsoft there would be no Google. There probably wouldn't even be an internet. (or, at least, not the way we know it.)

      If google was the software giant... we'd have no true privacy, as google doesn't see the privacy laws as acceptable.

      Did you know that google keeps your searches for upto 2 years?

      I'll bet that Google can track your entire web surfing history.. hell, maybe even gain access to your computer. Those b***ards are probably a security issue.
      windowsknowitall
      • Awesome!!! Hated MS since about 1995...

        Microsoft's track record of noncompetitive tactics have hobbled and stymied progress in computing for the past 20 years. 1995 was crap. 1998 was better, Millenium was a money grab (and crap)... 2000 was better, XP was where they should have stopped. Vista is another money grab. MS doesn't *care* about making good products. They only care about making money and trying to exclude the competition with proprietary software.

        The Open Source tide is catching up to them.

        Google will garner more and more power with their progress and success. We will have to see what they will do with it.

        Here is Google's mission statement:

        Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

        http://www.google.com/corporate/


        Here is Microsoft's "mission/values" statement page... no clear product goals or promises here:

        http://www.microsoft.com/about/default.mspx#values
        bbneo
  • RE: Google Chrome, the security tidbits

    Interestingly Google has been prominently at the helm of "productive" apps even though it has been accused of being the next generation Microsoft.

    If Google is able to deliver on its promise of making all the code Open Source then we are in for a very good treat
    chimney
  • The tar pit beckons sweetly

    Microsoft. Dinosaur behemoth tar-pit thrashing Microsoft. They really have had their day. Vendor-lock in, shrink-wrapped software which is heavily integrated into their proprietary OS... Those days are gone. They tried, and failed, to integrate search into the proprietary OS. It was a venture almost as laughable as pitching Zune at the iPod. Microsoft are the new 'old' IBM. Out-paced, out-manouvered, out-gunned, out-priced, out-of-breath, out-of-date, out-of-sight, out-of-mind. The kids want cool, not a dinosaur. Bye bye Microsoft.
    whisperycat
    • Tar = Oil

      More like an oil pit, going for about $160 per barrel, cat. Vista sold 20,000,000 copies in the first month of its release. I don't think there are that many Macs that left the Apple plant between 1970 and today.
      rock06r
      • Relevance?

        "Vista sold 20,000,000 copies in the first month of its release. I don't think there are that many Macs that left the Apple plant between 1970 and today".

        I think you must be replying to the wrong post. No-one mentioned Apple. No-one mentioned Vista sales. This article is about the new OS independant web browser from Google which is, to Microsoft, about as welcome as a wooden stake top the heart would be, for a blood-sucking vampire.
        whisperycat
        • Re: Relevance?

          As far as the "OS independent web browser", its not going to be to start with. To start with it is Windows only; hopefully *nix and OSX will follow shortly.

          However, I think that is what rock06r's fanboy posts erroneously alludes to: Microsoft is still the biggest player in the game even though so many people dislike them.

          The biggest hit I think this will be to Firefox at first. Those people have already shown a sign to go beyond whatever shlup was tossed on them by the OS vendor. However, as more apps become available and open, this could be a real competitor to all the activex crapware.

          -SMFX
          SMFX
      • Troll...

        Considering nowhere was there any mention of Vista or Macs, your entire point can be summed up in that one word.
        jasonp@...
  • Good Effort for the Wrong Reasons

    I like the idea of another browser platform to help drive standards-compliance, but I think that Google are doing this simply to re-gain control that's being lost through 'privacy mode' that's being built into latest browsers (or offered as an add-on).

    This means a lot to Google, so expect a lot of effort on their part. They have too much to lose if it fails (AdWords and their analytics to start with!).

    Kevin
    G-Portal UK
    http://cms.da.gp
    kevin@...
  • This is really Google-branded Safari!

    Or at least it seems that Google is using a bulk of the Safari browser's code, aka WebKit, aka KHTML.

    Apple finally got Safari ported to Windows, and this suddenly pops up from out of no where. Coincidence?

    What makes a great browser a great browser is all the behind-the-scenes stuff it has to do to display webpages correctly. Interface may get all the glamour, but it's hardly a good reason to switch browsers.

    This would be news if Google invested all the time in building a new browser from scratch, but they didn't.

    And ironically, this Windows-only browser is manily based upon the code of what was originally a Linux/Unix-only browser, and yet Google isn't offering a Linux port.
    Allstar_z
    • You are saying Google == theif?

      That's interesting. BTW, I don't use Safari. It does not support frames and tables correctly.
      joemartn
    • mac and linux versions are coming

      if you want it,
      tech_walker
  • RE: Google Chrome, the security tidbits

    It appears to be faster than either I.E 7 or Firefox, but I still prefer I.E.7 using the advancedsearchbar.com it is the best searchbar ever......
    ROBERTA PETROCCI
    • Its all subjective nt

      nt
      tech_walker
  • RE: Google Chrome, the security tidbits

    Google Apps are going to be involved with a LOT of small to mid sized businesses who want to eliminate the issues they are having with Exchange features and Exchange prices.

    Having the ability to have 99.9 percent reliability for their e-mail, shared documents, and other services for $50 a year per user is a real savings. But to ensure control and a few other things, they needed a Browser that would work securely in all cases to this back end only. That is why Chrome. for this purpose, it makes total sense.

    I have over 200 clients in my technology area that are in need of exactly this sort of integrated (easy and cheap) solution to their E-mail, messaging, and compliance needs.

    And this surely gives it to them.
    jjmcdonald7911@...
  • RE: Google Chrome, the security tidbits

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