Google's new cloud-based Chromium operating system, slated to debut in the second half of 2010, may not immediately change the way attacks are carried out, but if the OS is successful in gaining broad adoption, it could have a far-reaching impact in the way security is deployed, says a group of Web security experts.
Google announced in July that its engineers have been busy designing a lightweight operating system, built using the architecture of its Chrome browser on a modified Linux kernel. In a November press briefing, Google engineers praised the OS's ability to isolate processes, sandboxing them in a way that could make it more difficult for attackers to run malware undetected on a victim's machine. Chromium also uses encryption for any cached user data stored locally, but is also heavily cloud-based, with virtually all data and applications stored and running on Google servers.

While Google engineers are using a number of new techniques to harden the OS from external attacks, cybercriminals have consistently shown they are savvy enough to poke holes in even the most hardened code, say security experts.

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