I don’t know if you heard about this, but apparently late last year there was this small, no-big-deal cyber attack. You probably missed it when Google reported it in January, and started talking about leaving China for the next two months. And it was almost a non-story when they finally did shutter Google.cn. But now that we’re all caught up, Google CEO Eric Schmidt finally lets down his guard about how deeply, emotionally affecting these events were. When asked about security at a Q&A at Google’s Atmosphere 2010, he said, “Google is now particularly paranoid about that.”
Naturally, Google has upped security measures after they discovered the cyber attack, which exploited a flaw in IE6. Although the flaw was quickly patched, Google is moving to more secure Web-based systems—Chrome OS netbooks.
How conveeeeenient. A major security compromise and Google spins it to mean that you can actually trust them more.
Schmidt offered a little explanation of the attack, according to cNET:
He declined to get into the specifics of how the attackers penetrated Google’s security but said the attackers broke into a single system with the outdated browser and were then able to take “a series of steps” to wreak wider havoc. Google tightened its external defenses and moved quickly to update all the software within its walls following the deconstruction of the attack.
Schmidt also advises everyone to run the latest version of your browser (even if it isn’t Chrome) to help keep your system safer.
Of course, the best way to keep your system safe is to trust Google: “Our Web services and Web platforms will be inherently more secure” than alternatives, Schmidt said. “Hold us to this.”
Oh, I’m sure that’ll assuage the privacy watchdogs and federal agencies concerned about all the personally identifiable user information Google’s amassing.
What do you think? Will Google’s systems actually be more secure? Or is trusting them with our data another invitation for trouble?