So Google reckons that it can provide the perfect operating system in Chrome, even to the point where according to Google's Engineering Director, Linus Upson, it will herald the end of malware. That's what he went on the record to say, promising that Google was "completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates." Which could just end up being one of those 'why did I say that' moments that go down in software development folklore. Not least because as soon as you say something is 100 percent secure, is malware-proof then out of the woodwork crawl all the bad people just itching to prove you wrong.
One application vulnerability specialist, Richard Kirk of Fortify Software, told us "You can have the most bug-free operating system in the world – which is what energy companies have in the shape of the SCADA-compliant embedded firmware that drives their critical systems - but if the software has bugs in it, you're dead in the water."
Kirk continues "The plans of Linus Upson, Google's engineering director, outlined in the latest New Scientist magazine are laudable and, if they turn out to be correct, will make computing a lot safer for everyone, but the plethora of software that is available - and being developed all the time - makes the task of eradicating viruses impossible."
According to Kirk, this isn't to decry Google's plans for a secure operating system, although he also noted that the company's plans took a battering recently when two flaws were revealed in the Chrome browser application. The irony of Upson's plans is that embedded firmware versions of Windows are already in active use on SCADA-compliant systems in critical government and utility grids the world over, he explained. The downside of using an embedded operating system is that it cannot be easily updated, but that is a small price to pay for a more secure computing environment, the Fortify director went on to say.