Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Google Docs Used to Detail Flash Security Hole

The Register has the story of a Google security guru, Rich Cannings, helping to discover and report on a serious security hole with Flash. Simply put Flash is vunerable to cross site scripting and so, in theory, hijackers could use the technique to discover your bank log in details. Cannings is suggesting that now is the time for 10,000s of sites to re-do their Flash and use the latest, patched, software.

That's the backdrop. What interested me was that Cannings put his advice on a public Google Docs document. The Register refer to it as a 'post'.

I suspect we'll see more of this in 2008. If you need to put together a 'web document' quickly then Google Docs is far quicker than messing around with HTML. I guess Cannings found Google Docs even easier than Google Page Creator and that's not a vote of confidence for Page Creator.

So, if we do see an increase in useful information being published via Google Docs then there's an extra product I want from Google - a search engine, one that searches through just Google Docs documents.

As a consumer/reader Google Docs has a special attraction to me - you can't put tracking in it. You can't track me. As a publisher you don't know when I'm reading your public Google Doc document. You certainly don't have my IP address, hostname and by no means are you slipping me a cookie.

As a web marketer I'm not so happy if there's a trend from web consumers to ask for information via public Google Docs documents because I can't track or cookie them.

Oh, just as a footnote - Rich Cannings must be very confident that there are no security holes or weaknesses in Google Docs.

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