Thursday, September 12, 2013

Security concerns over Google Chrome Apps

American security experts advise against installing Chrome Apps on sensitive systems.

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Google Chrome Apps was released as a way to allow for the installation of apps for the Google Chrome OS on Windows or Mac OS X systems. In essence, Chrome Apps are simply packaged apps that run in a stand-alone mode and does not need to be accessed through the use of Google Chrome web browser, although at present, Google Chrome web browser is still required to have been installed.

The benefit of Chrome Apps as envisaged by Google is that it allows users to run the apps in an offline mode and also allows for documents and data to be saved locally on the hard drive instead on the default Google Drive cloud. However, recently, a group of American security experts have raised some concerns about the potential risks of Google Chrome Apps.

Since Chrome Apps is designed to be run on a large number of platforms, at present, Windows, Mac OS X and Chrome OS, it also exposes an additional layer of complex functions that can be exploited by malicious users. The situation is illustrated by the multi-platform software such as Adobe Flash and Oracle Java. Both of these software are multi-platform and highly complex and sophisticated, which has had the result of them being one of the most used exploit vectors to compromise computers.

In addition to the potential direct security risks, Google is also known for being extremely information hungry and like to collect as much information from as many sources as possible. Therefore, the security experts strongly advise the large corporations or government agencies dealing with sensitive information to carefully consider the risks with Chrome Apps for the purpose of preventing sensitive information from being automatically (and unwillingly) collected by the search-engine giant.

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