[cap-talk] Google Chrome - web browser with sandboxed rendering
shap at eros-os.com
shap at eros-os.com
Tue Sep 2 16:16:51 CDT 2008
Can you call me 4104934344
From: Jed Donnelley <capability at webstart.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 4:10 PM
To: General discussions concerning capability systems. <cap-talk at mail.eros-os.org>
Subject: Re: [cap-talk] Google Chrome - web browser with sandboxed rendering
At 10:37 AM 9/2/2008, Mark Seaborn wrote:
>Apparently Google are developing a web browser called Chrome in which
>each tab runs in a separate process, sandboxed at the OS level.
>Unusually, the introductory material is in the form of a comic strip:
>- pages 25-31 cover sandboxing (I can't see a way to link to
>Does anyone know any more details, such as how the sandboxing works on
I'd also be interested to start a discussion with anything anybody
knows about the Google Chrome browser. I've read the comic (above)
and will share a couple of notes that interested me below.
I would like to hear about any relationship between the Google
Chrome browser and Caja. Section 4 of the comic deals directly
with security issues:
1. When they say (page 26:
) that they've taken the existing process boundary and made it a jail,
how? Are the "process"es Windows or Unix processes or something else?
If something else, what? If native processes, how have their ambient
authorities been removed?
2. At the bottom right of page 27:
there is an explicit reference to Vista, "vista uses a modified version
of the biba security model which uses three levels." Doesn't it seem a
bit odd that Vista would be referenced specifically as an OS - even beyond
the more generic "Windows" - but that no other operating systems are
3. At the top of page 29:
there is a perfect place for a discussion of POLA (only give the
application what it needs - "none" isn't the right answer).
4. The discussion of plugins (also starting on page 29 at the bottom)
suggests that dealing with them (running them securely) is an
unsolved problem. The comic says that with some help from plugin
makers they can reduce the trust that plugins need. Might this be
an opportunity for POLA?
Still, the comic then says:
5. on Page 30:
"meanwhile we have a huge surface area reduction from all this --
<pointing up - suggesting all the rendering and other active browser
content> to this <holding a seemingly innocuous plugin in hand>.
Of course if the only vulnerabilities are left in the plugins, that
is where the attacks will come.
6. On page 31 (top right):
there is what seems to me a rather odd use of the first person
singular in a reference to seemingly incomplete work, "so I
worked on ripping plugins out of the rendering process
and putting them in a separate process all their own."
Who is the "I" in the above? Is that work complete or did some
work on it get done but the project remained incomplete?
7. Regarding the "gears" Web API standard, e.g. as on page 35:
what about POLA and the solution to the plugin problem?
Finally there's the question about the relationship between
Firefox and Chrome? Is there any? If not, why not?
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