'Cloud security issues still bug Chromebook'


Posted at Jun 01 2011 03:26 PM | Updated as of Jun 01 2011 11:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - While it holds a lot of promise, Google's new laptop computer may still be used by cybercriminals to steal information by building new types of malicious software, Kaspersky Lab warned.

The Chromebook, a device that is always connected to the Internet and uses cloud computing as a platform, meets certain conditions that allow malware to evolve, Kaspersky Lab analyst Costin Raiu said in a statement.

Among these are a "relatively new operating system" and "new security defenses such as self-healing and updates" that are stored in the cloud, not on the computer.

Google earlier claimed that the Chromebook does not need antivirus protection, and that users can easily reinstall everything into the cloud should a malware attack occur.

"Obviously, with all your data being available into the cloud, in one place, available 24/7 through a fast Internet link, this will be a goldmine for cybercriminals. All that is necessary here is to get hold of the authentication tokens required to access the cloud account," Raiu said.

"The situation is that the data is in a more risky place and it will be much easier to silently steal it."

Raiu said this problem is inherent not only in Chromebook but also in cloud-centric operating systems in general.

The analyst said this should be addressed as more and more people depend on storing data on the Internet.

"Google would have to look at ensuring that their cloud services remain closed against cybercriminals," Raiu said.