Chrome OS Security: The Technical Aspects

google-chrome-osAfter many months of anxious waiting and speculation Google revealed the preview edition of its upcoming Cloud based OS named Chrome. It has created considerable buzz in the industry and many people feel that finally Microsoft Windows has got a worthy rival. Whether Chrome can introduce a major change in the way people use their computers remains to be seen. Some of the netbook manufacturers are already contemplating using this open source OS in their upcoming products. The user need to know about the security features that Google has implemented in the upcoming operating system.

From the beginning Google made it clear that chrome OS will be web centric and unction as a part of the cloud where users will store and share their data. Therefore it only seems natural that the OS will have strong web security features in built. As a matter of fact, The OS will use many security features Google uses in its browser having the same name as the OS. According to Google, Chrome OS makes use of a number of protections at the OS level and also prevents prevalent online modes of attack.

Chrome OS depends on a technique known as sand-boxing. It keeps various applications and process separate from one another. This results in reduced interaction between the OS core and individual applications. In a traditional OS, a crashed application often affects other running applications and OS kernel. Since Chrome adopts Sand-boxing, a crashed application is treated separately and other applications are unharmed by it. In the case of Windows and other OS-es, the hackers target the unsuspecting users by sending harmless looking attachments that contain malicious codes within. Once the code is activated it jeopardizes the system and renders it unusable with time. In Chrome, the applications are not allowed to run such codes on their own.

Chrome has a crypto graphed boot procedure that ensures the safety of the system memory, partition table as well as the Linux core. If any rogue application manages to evade the security barrier of the sandbox and gets access to the OS core, the changes it makes get detected when the OS boots for the next time. The OS has a self healing mechanism that attempts to repair any change caused to the OS core on its own and also informs the users when this happens.

Just like the Chrome Browser, the OS also keeps updating itself in the background while the users carry on using it. The anti-phishing feature used in the Chrome browser guards the users from potentially harmful sites. Google is preparing a detailed documentation on the OS. It will help the security experts to discover the loophole sin the security of the OS and bolster it in the future. Google has its eyes on the technologies like biometric authentication. However, it is not interested in implementing Bluetooth wireless transfer technology in its OS as it can compromise its security. Cloud based computing is being touted by the Internet search giant as the future of computing and it is counting on Chrome OS to live up to the promise.

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12 Responses to Chrome OS Security: The Technical Aspects

  1. Michael Lankton December 1, 2009 at 12:23 am #

    Jonathan,

    have you used Chrome yet? I have, and that screenshot in your article is not Chrome OS.