Security Expert, Constin Raiu, questioned Google's claims that Chromebook, its new Chrome-based notebook, wouldn't need virus protection and is immune from attacks that have affected traditional Windows-based products in the past.
Raiu, who works for Kaspersky, points to the successful security break in carried out by French security specialist VUPEN on Google's Chrome browser which is at the core of the Chrome OS.
Although he acknowledges that Google has designed Chrome OS in such a way that it is extremely difficult to modify (and knows how to self-heal if anything goes wrong), he underlines the risk associated with a cloud-based paradigm, with one commentator reminding us of what happened with Sony and the Playstation Network.
He notes that Chromebook may spawn a new generation of malware; Windows 95, Raiu recalls, killed boot viruses and the disappearance of floppy disk drives eliminated a very popular medium.
He adds, "Cloud centric OS’es, the race will be towards stealing access credentials, after which, it’s game over. Who needs to steal banking accounts, when you have Google Checkout? Or, who needs to monitor passwords, when they’re all nicely stored into the Google Dashboard?"
Google Chromebooks have built in, dedicated encryption and recovery hardware which makes it difficult to tamper with. The flip side of course, is that it is quasi impossible to treat once a vulnerability has been discovered in the hardware itself.