Mar 09, 2012

How was Google able to create and push out an update for Chrome security hole in 24 hours?

Yesterday I read about the critical security vulnerability that had been found in Chrome. Today there was an update that removed the threat. One day. It sometimes takes me longer than that to go through all of my emails after a long weekend. Seriously.  I was going to look into the vulnerability this morning to see what we needed to do to avoid exposing ourselves to potential security threats caused by it...instead I can go get another cup of coffee. (Thanks Google.) When vulnerabilities are found in IE, it can take weeks or months for an update to be released, with nothing more than the cold comfort of MS saying that it is "a known issue". How can there be such a huge difference in how long plugging a hole takes? Like Google, Microsoft has a huge talent pool, so it isn't as if they are some little start-up with limited technical expertise.


This is just a guess, but I suspect that Google was already aware of the vulnerability.  The attack vector was probably something new though.  It's a lot easier...and quicker... to lock a door that you know you left open than it is to fix a hole knocked through your wall.  Or perhaps Google is just admirably agile for a company its size.  Microsoft has traditionally not been as willing to release betas as Google, and this probably carries over to things like patches as well.  Whereas Google cranks things out that may not be perfect then tweaks them over time, Microsoft generally tests, tests and retests before release, which obviously takes time to complete.      

Well, let's face it. Microsoft is Microsoft. It rarely does anything quickly these days. It has the reputation of being a bit of a lumbering behemoth.

Google, on the other hand, has not yet succumbed to that sickness and maybe never will. So it's not surprising that they were able to move so much more quickly than Microsoft does.

It's rather a sad comment about Microsoft, but I don't see that company changing significantly any time soon. Probably a good reason to stick with Chrome and avoid Internet Explorer.
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