Google preps Chrome patch, adds new features

18 Nov Google preps Chrome patch, adds new features

TG Daily, By Christian Zibreg, November 18, 2008
Mountain View (CA) – After a few maintenance updates, Google is readying a more significant Chrome update that fixes a known security issue and delivers an improved V8 JavaScript interpreter. The updated version also addresses some of the missing end-user features, such as more privacy options, a separate bookmark manager and a re-worked pop-up blocker that no longer blocks annoying pop-up windows by loading them in a minimized window state. The updated Chrome addresses a serious security vulnerability that allows attackers to steal files from a client machines if a malicious HTML file is downloaded. The vulnerability exploits a security flaw that uses an XMLHttpRequest to transmit local files to a server of an attacker. “We now prevent local files from connecting to the network with XMLHttpRequest() and also prompt you to confirm a download if it is an HTML file,” said Chrome’s program manager Mark Larson. The new browser also includes a newer version of the V8 JavaScript engine and adds a couple of end-user features that left obvious gaps in the previous version. Chrome gets more detailed privacy controls, a tweaked pop-up blocker and a bookmark manager. The new bookmark manager can be accessed through the “Customize and control Google Chrome” option found in the Options menu (wrench icon). You can search bookmarks, create folders, drag and drop bookmarks to new locations and export/import bookmarks through the Tools menu. New privacy settings, accessible through the Under the Hood tab in the Options section of the wrench menu, now offers more granularity through a redesigned user interface that finally groups all configuration options for features that might send data to another service. Chrome’s pop-up blocker has also received a few tweaks. In the past, Chrome did not really block pop-ups. Instead, the browser loaded each pop-up, displayed it minimized in the lower right corner as a window with a status bar. Users can close this mini-window or click on it to display the content. This approach is now scrapped in favor of a small notification area that sits in the corner and shows the number of blocked pop-ups. If you wish to open any specific pop-up, you can open a list of blocked pop-ups by clicking on the notification icon.