Google Web Accelerator and Security

    May 6, 2005

The web is abuzz with talk of the pros and cons of the new Google Web Accelerator. Mostly the con, and the issue is privacy. I want to let you in on an immediate problem you must understand.

This morning, the Inside Google blog published in its excellent article, Much Controversy of Web Accelerator, a very worrisome bug that is a byproduct of GWA-getting logged into some web sites as someone else! Or put in a more frightening way, others can see pages of YOURS as if they were logged in as you.

An excerpt:

“See, Google isn’t serving web pages faster, its serving other people’s versions of the web page faster. What does that mean? Try using Web Accelerator on a forum site, one with lots of geeks who love Google and probably already have Web Accelerator installed. Why, if you’re lucky, you’ll be logged in as someone else, as the folks at discovered.

The posters in that forum discovered that most of the times they refreshed the page, they were logged in as a different person, seeing their friend’s control panel for the forums.

They were even kind enough to provide screenshots.”

Read it. Then bookmark this article with this permalink and send it to your friends who might be using GWA. Quickly. I’ve just turned mine off.

Mark Fleming is the founder of a new blog called Google Tutor & Advisor. Google Tutor & Advisor offers in-depth Tips, Techniques and Advice for Google Users.

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