So here’s the question: What is more dangerous to your privacy: a.) Tracking cookies? Or b.) An browser which can be exploited and manipulated by criminals and hooligans who create Web sites to take advantage of known vulnerabilities in your Web browser? If you answered “b” — you’re right. A toothpaste ad from DoubleClick might drop tracking cookies on your computer and you may see a lot of cosmetic-oriented ads, but the main purpose of tracking cookies isn’t to find out who you are or install keyloggers or botnets or Trojans on your computer; the purpose of tracking cookies is to show you ads you’re more likely to click on and buy something.
What’s the main purpose of exploiting your browser? Not to sell you legitimate products or show you ads you’re more likely to click on – the purpose of exploitation is almost always sinister. The miscreants who are devoted to exploiting your browser would love nothing more than to turn your computer into a spam-bot, or install a keylogger on your computer to record your key strokes (key strokes include keystrokes you make when you type in your home address, phone number, Social Security number, credit care numbers — and the like), or to control you computer to use in Denial of Service attacks against government sites or other site with whom the misanthropes have a gripe or two.
As we’ve said so many times — while the bloggers and tech writers are whipping up a frenzy over tracking cookies — there are much more sinister activities going on you should be concerned about. And that’s why all the fuss over tracking-cookies is so dangerous: it distracts you from more important and vastly more dangerous things.
If you’re not using Google Chrome — you’re using an exploitable browser. That’s not opinion, that’ fact. Over the last six years, Google Chrome has offered money to any hacker who could exploit it. This year it’s offering a cash prizes to anyone who can exploit Google Chrome. Have you seen Microsoft offering prize money and daring people to exploit Internet Explorer?
Anyway, I’m sure you’re going to want more information about the Google Chrome challenge. No one’s exploited Chrome over the last six years — and Google seems pretty sure no one will be able to exploit it this year either. Which browser should you use? Whichever one you want. But if you’re one of those who worries about tracking cookies and you use Internet Explorer — maybe you should give it some thought.
Google’s Giving $60,000 to Whoever Can Exploit Chrome
While both Safari and IE collapsed under the pressure from hackers at last year’s Pwn2Own contest, not one person was able to crack Chrome. This year, Google’s sweetening the pot with a million dollars in prizes to successful exploiters.
In fact, Chrome is the only browser in the contest’s six year history to not be exploited—like, at all. Therefore Google will hand out prizes of $60,000, $40,000, and $20,000 for contestants able to remotely commandeer a fully-patched browser running on Windows 7. Finding a “Full Chrome Exploit,” obtaining user account persistence using only bugs in the browser itself will net the $60k prize. Using webkits, flash, or a driver-based exploit can only earn the lesser amounts… read more here.