Security agencies rally against Google Chrome

Government computer security agencies in Germany and The Netherlands are warning consumers against using Google's Chrome browser.

"This concerns a beta version of Chrome. Govcert.nl recommends that test versions are installed only in a test environment. For the duration of the beta test period, we recommend against computer owners using Chrome at home," a representative for the Dutch Computer Emergency Response Team cautioned in an email message on Monday that was sent to Webwereld, an IDG affiliate.

Over the weekend, German authorities too have cautioned consumers to stay clear from Google's latest browser. There, the warning reached mainstream media including a prime-time news broadcast on public television.

The warnings were prompted by the large number of bugs and security failures that have surfaced after Google launched the beta of it's browser last week. Security experts have demonstrated ways that could allow criminals to take over control of a user's computer by exploiting known vulnerabilities in open source components that come bundled with the browser. Google also has been force to change the license under which the software is distributed, following a public outrage from privacy watchdogs and end users.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Google claimed that the browser has been tested and is ready for use by mainstream users. "In the case of Google Chrome, the product has been launched with great attention to ease of use, speed, stability and security, including elaborate privacy features and protections against malware and phishing attacks that have been added to the product."

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