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Google Halts Web Accelerator

Posted: 12th May, 2005 By: MarkJ
Google has suspended downloads of its new 'Web Accelerator' software, blaming capacity problems for the stall. However, many believe this to be a mask for complaints about security:

The software was launched on 4 May but within a day was causing concern among users when it transpired that the software cached more data than many people felt comfortable with, enabling individuals in some cases to log into secure online pages of others.

Google Web Accelerator, which was released in beta, is set up to automatically work with Firefox and Internet Explorer once it has been downloaded. The service stores copies of sites frequently accessed by individual PCs and automatically retrieves new data from those pages, so that a Web browser needs to process only updates to those sites when asked to load them. It can also automatically "pre-fetch" frequently used Web sites before the user downloads it.

On a Google Labs discussion group, one user said that the security implications of Google caching details of Internet sessions were unacceptable.


It's understood that Google doesn't cache SSL (secure) connections, although this tends to only be used for payment security and is not common with the automated systems on ordinary websites.

We understand from other news items that some surfers were allegedly able to browse discussion forums with a username that wasn't theirs. More @ ZDNet.
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