Chrome is not only changing the speed of browsing, it is doing much to change the way that browsing additions are secured. The fact that extensions will have to be sent from previously identified developers, that pay a fee, and also have their domains verified, will provide a much greater security to users of those add-ins.
Some changes in the way that things are done with Chrome have already taken place – I have not yet witnessed these changes personally – Download Squad tells of the differences that Google has put into place to assuage any fears that the users might have.
Yesterday, Google announced on the Chromium blog that they were introducing two changes affecting the Chrome Extensions Gallery: a $5 registration fee for new developers, and domain verification. The measures are designed to provide a level of quality assurance and security which was previously lacking.
Domain verification is the big security addition. If you read our posts on how to install Chrome Web Apps right now, you might have seen part of Google’s plan in action already. For example, if you tried to install the Google Reader app from our server by simply clicking it with your left mouse button, you would see the dialog above: "Apps must be served from the host that they affect."
That provides a very simple but effective defense against malicious apps. Worried that a Gmail app might steal your credentials or log your conversations? No problem — unless the app is served up from Gmail itself Chrome won’t let you install it.
It’s not perfect, obviously. The apps on our post could be installed anyway by simply right-clicking, choosing save as, and dragging the app from your download bar back into the main Chrome window. To the average user, however, that’s probably complex enough to be a deterrent. Pair this with Google’s new domain verification stamp, and you’ve got a decent way to assure users they’re installing safe apps from a trusted source.
Every little bit helps when it comes to security, and I can certainly see domain verification being something even my least technical friends and family can understand — and appreciate.
Yes, for the paranoid, the inept, or the beginner, this is a change that makes things almost as easy as some of the Linux distributions. It is certainly a change from the usual way that Windows programs handle installation.
While I applaud the effort to make things seamless, I think that allowing the expert user to have some control is also needed – hopefully the developers won’t forget that aspect of things.
Quote of the day:
For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.
– Gloria Borger