Google has integrated a PDF viewer into the beta version of its browser Google Chrome.
Previously, an integrated PDF viewer was available only in Chromium, the developer version of the browser.
The viewer, introduced on Thursday, makes it possible to view PDF documents within the browser as HTML web pages. It does this through the use of an open-source next-generation API, named Pepper. This means that when opening PDFs, the browser does not need to open a dedicated PDF viewer program such as Adobe Reader, according to Google.
Adobe's PDF software is regularly patched for security flaws. To help protect individuals "from malware and security attacks that are targeted at PDF files" Google software engineer John Abd-El-Malek said in a blog post that Google has put a "sandbox" around the Chrome PDF viewer.
Sandbox is a technical term for a security protocol used by the Google Chrome browser to secure IT elements. A technical paper explains that the sandbox allows Google to isolate an application, or aspect of the browser's IT, into a silo. This silo means that "even if an attacker can exploit an unpatched vulnerability in the rendering engine... the sandbox helps prevent the attacker from reading or writing the user's file system".