Google Chrome is a platform known for three things: speed, security, and minimalism. All of these items have been enhanced in Chrome 10, but while the extra hardware acceleration and browser-embedded settings windows are of note, the security updates take the digital cake.
Two major areas of vulnerability are being addressed: Adobe Flash and plugins. Adobe Flash, while typically secure, has had many instances of being exploited by malicious users in the past. To help users receive the most secure version of Flash, and to give Flash itself some additional security options, Google has worked with Adobe to let Flash use the Google Chrome sandbox – the security mechanism that separates potentially harmful content from the rest of your computer, minimizing potential risk to the user’s system.
Plugins, meanwhile, are very frequently exploited and require frequent updates to maintain solid security. While creating these updates are often second-nature for developers, users may not even be aware that they’re using an outdated version of the program. Google is now making this information clearly visible by detecting when plugins are out-of-date, and providing users with both a notification and a link to update the plugin. Advanced users will even be able to take advantage of a context-menu on blocked items that allows the user to give permission to only some of the plugins running on a page.
Chrome is by no means attempting to “catch up” with competitors Safari, Firefox, and IE9. Rather, they’re leading the industry with new innovations on the security front. Chrome has been able to beat hackers, including in the pwn2own hacking competition, where they were the only un-hacked browser in 2010 and, as of March 10th, are standing strong in pwn2own 2011.