Report: Google Dropping Windows For Security Reasons

'Aurora' attacks out of China reportedly helped prompt OS changes at Google

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

June 2, 2010

1 Min Read

Google reportedly has been moving away from the internal use of Windows in the wake of the Operation Aurora attacks, according to a report by The Financial Times. New employees can choose either Mac or Linux systems, the report said.

The targeted attacks out of China that hit Google, Adobe, Intel, and other U.S. firms in several cases exploited a zero-day flaw in the Internet Explorer 6 browser; Google was among the firms that fell victim to that exploit.

Google would neither confirm nor deny whether it was phasing out Windows, as was reported by the FT, which quoted unnamed Google employees. "We're always working to improve the efficiency of our business, but we don't comment on specific operational matters," a Google spokesperson said in response to the report.

One employee quoted in the article said if a Google employee prefers to stick with Windows, he or she must get clearance from senior officials. In addition, purchasing a new Windows machine "requires CIO approval," another unnamed Google employee is quoted as saying.

The move is security-driven, as concerns have intensified within the company since the Aurora attacks, which Google revealed earlier this year. Google employees said the transition away from Windows was also prompted by Google's plan to run on its own products, including its upcoming Chrome operating system, the report said. "Before the security, there was a directive by the company to try to run things on Google products," a Google employee told the FT. "It was a long time coming."

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