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Chrome vs Iron (Privacy Comparison) with Poll for Chrome users

Discussion in 'Other Security Related Discussions' started by Huracan, Sep 19, 2012.

?

Chrome users: Tick any you think are a privacy risk?

  1. Client-ID

    3 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. Timestamp

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  3. Suggest

    4 vote(s)
    57.1%
  4. Alternate Error Pages

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  5. Error Reporting

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  6. RLZ-Tracking

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  7. Google Updater

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  8. URL-Tracker

    5 vote(s)
    71.4%
  9. Adblocker (N/A)

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  10. User-Agent

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Huracan

    Huracan Administrator MalwareTips Staff

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    As point out here using Google's URL Shortening service. :angel:

    I don't see how Iron is any better than Chrome, where some of their features help and protect their users to stay updated and secure, or provide helpful alternate suggestions. (Of course most being optional).

    The Article suggests these are "problems", when they're not, but to lure users to download and use SRWare Iron.

    [​IMG]

    Ignore the download text, forgot to crop it off.
     
  2. Umbra Polaris

    Umbra Polaris Security Configuration Expert MalwareTips Staff

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    To add to the discussion :

    https://insanitybit.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/srware-iron-browser-a-real-private-alternative-to-chrome-21/

    Code:
     SRWare Iron Browser – A Real Private Alternative To Chrome?
    
    Iron Browser claims to eliminate “critical points that the privacy concern” aka: it’s trying to solve Chrome privacy issues.
    
    A noble endeavor. Except it’s all a load of shit and the label “scamware” is fairly fitting (or at the very least “scareware”).
    
    Iron v Chrome
    
    Iron has a page called “Iron Vs Chrome” that ‘matches up’ the privacy features. This is actually the easiest thing to point to to say “wow, this browser really is bullshit.”
    
    1) Installation-ID
    
    This is the only privacy ‘concern’ that isn’t option. Some facts:
    
        The installation ID only runs once and then it’s removed.
        The installation ID contains no personal information, it’s gibberish
    
    2) Suggest
    
    Suggest is referring to the omnibox suggestions. In order to predict what you’re searching for Chrome sends the text in the URL bar to the default search engine (Chrome has no default search engine, you choose on installation.) You are then subject to that search engines privacy restrictions, I use DuckDuckGo so it’s really them logging me.
    
    This is entirely configurable. You can disable it with absolute ease. All Iron has done is disable the option by default and removed the ability to enable it. To disable it check the Chrome Privacy Settings.
    
    3) Alternate Error Pages
    
    The Iron developer is really reaching with this one. When Chrome hits a page that can’t be reached it replaces the error message.
    
    A few facts:
    
        Navigation errors are first checked locally.
        Only a hash is sent to google.
        All GET parameters are removed.
    
    And, of course, it can be easily disabled. Again, all Iron has done is disable a feature and not give you the option to add it back.
    
    4) RLZ-Tracking
    
    The RLZ string is an encoded string that contains no indentifying information. It’s used purely to gauge how well promotional campaigns did ie: if an ad runs on Monday they want to know how many people downloaded it Tuesday. That’s the kind of information in the RLZ String and the source code is provided to decode the RLZ and look inside.
    
    It couldn’t really be less malicious unless you have a problem with Google knowing that someone out in the wide world downloaded their browser on a Tuesday.
    
    You can disable this on Linux. Not Windows. It also doesn’t even exist in typical builds downloaded from Google’s website, only for builds having to do with marketing campaigns.
    
    5) Google Updater
    
    Another big reach. Iron is now claiming that this is a privacy failure. I literally have absolutely no idea what the hell this guys point is for this one so it’s incredibly difficult to refute. The updater is open source. At this point it should be clear that the developer has 0 credibility and is just pulling things out of his ass.
    
    6) URL-Tracker
    
    Google stupidly named this feature “URL-Tracker” which sounds really awful. It’s really not, and they just picked a horrible name.
    
    Basically the URL Tracker connects to three random sites. It does this to check your DNS configuration in order to tell whether your DNS tries to resolve error pages or if Chrome should. Nothing scary here and it’s handled in a very nice way.
    
    So, we’ve now discredited Iron in terms of its use. Obviously it offers absolutely nothing to the user in terms of privacy. I personally think it’s time to discredit the developer on a more personal level, because, honestly, the project just really annoys me.
    
    Why Does Iron Exist?
    
    Since Iron provides nothing to the user you have to ask yourself, why does it exist? Very simple, and a bit obvious – money. The Iron developer plays off of users fear, creating ‘privacy issues’ where none exist. And how does he get money? Very ironically he uses Google Adsense.
    
    In a conversation with Chromium devs the Iron developer essentially states that he has no interest in making commits to Chromium to improve privacy and is only after the ad revenue.
    
    <mgreenblatt> Iron.. why not propose a patch based on preprocessor defines that disables the sections you dislike without forking the code?
    <Iron> because a fork will bring a lot of publicity to my person and my homepage 
    <Iron> that means: a lot of money too ;) 
    <Iron> i dont take money for my fork 
    <Iron> but i have adsense on my page ;)  
    <Iron> a lot of visitor -> a lot of clicka > a lot of money ;) 
    <Iron> we are here in germany 
    <Iron> the press will love my fork 
    <Iron> i talked to much journalists already 
    <DrPizza> Why are you forking? 
    <DrPizza> to do what? 
    <Iron> to remove all things in source talking to google ;)  
    <jamessan> to get fame and fortune 
    <Iron> nobody here trusts google 
    <Iron> the german people say: google is very evil 
    <jamessan> yet you use google's adsense
    
    Sure seems trustworthy! Yes, that’s the Iron developer outright saying that he’s playing off of fears rampant in Germany and he’s in it for the adsense money. If you’re supporting the Iron browser you are supporting a product that provides a false sense of privacy, it outright degrades what privacy is about – disclosure and integrity.
    
    I’m a pretty crappy programmer and I could probably do what Iron’s done. It’s just deleting a few snippets of code. Of course, the developer hasn’t really released the source code in forever so… yeah… that also brings me to my point of it not exactly being open source. I think the last I checked I couldn’t find source code for any recent version of Iron.
    
    Chrome and Chromium are pretty privacy oriented. At least to a fair extent. There’s a Chromium privacy team and they are very responsible. I’ve personally bugged Mike West with my questions on multiple occasions and he’s been nothing but quick to respond and helpful, which has lead to a bug fix or two. Recently I dealt with another member of the Chromium privacy team and got another feature request for privacy, which they took seriously instead of simply saying “no go away.”
    
    The simple fact is that Iron is a scam and the developer is using you. It’s  snake oil and it’s dangerous. You’re going to be slower to patch and you’re going to think you’re ‘more private’ when you aren’t.
    
    Don’t support scamware. If you see someone recommending Iron browser simply link them to some information. On a very personal level scamware like this bothers me, it’s flat out lying to users and making a profit on them while putting their privacy and security at risk and that really just annoys me.
    
    Sources
    
    https://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.com/en/us/intl/en/landing/chrome/google-chrome-privacy-whitepaper.pdf
    
    http://neugierig.org/software/chromium/notes/2009/12/iron.html
    
    mikewest.org/2011/09/chrome-privacy
    
    mattcutts.com/blog/google-chrome-communication/
     
  3. Huracan

    Huracan Administrator MalwareTips Staff

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    Thank you, I know this was brought up before about Iron being Scamware, but to those who belief Chrome is a real threat to Privacy, maybe they shouldn't use the Internet.

    Sorry, but it annoys me that people belief those articles.

    Edit: Updated Poll: Chrome users: Tick any you think are a privacy risk?
     
  4. Umbra Polaris

    Umbra Polaris Security Configuration Expert MalwareTips Staff

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    The funny thing is when you type "iron browser scareware", the article appears first in the list :p

    i still prefer use Dragon that has real privacy features instead of Iron, most Chrome "privacy issues" can be disabled by tweaking it.

    the only "issues" i can see are Error Reporting, Suggest and URL-tracker, but it is not big deal
     
  5. Huracan

    Huracan Administrator MalwareTips Staff

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    What are the Dragon privacy features again?
     
  6. Umbra Polaris

    Umbra Polaris Security Configuration Expert MalwareTips Staff

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    I am not sure if it is different from Chrome except the security features (used chrome only one time ^^)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Littlebits

    Littlebits Super Moderator MalwareTips Staff

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    I have said it before and will say it again, if you want to use the best and most secure Chromium based browser then use Google Chrome.

    All of the others are just clones of the original with missing security features, missing vulnerability patches and offer nothing that can't be added by an Chromium extension.

    To me all other Chromium based browser are just a joke.

    When Google Chrome first came out, yes it did have some privacy issues but they changed most of them, removed the client ID, it has been gone for awhile now. However it has never removed from the comparison on SRWare's homepage. If you would like to know Comodo Dragon does include a client ID to track users. Read Comodo Dragon's privacy policy.

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    Thanks.:D
     
  8. Overkill

    Overkill Well-Known Member

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    This should be in the war room lol
    I think google knows too much about us already, I'd just rather use something non-google is all...Comodo is doing very well with their dragon browsers so I may just ditch iron and just run Comodo stuff :)
     
  9. Umbra Polaris

    Umbra Polaris Security Configuration Expert MalwareTips Staff

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    Not to say that Dragon is faster on my system than Chrome (at least compared with the last time i used Chrome)

    I don't really mind of privacy issues, i have nothing sensitive here, if they want to know which porn sites i visit, i can give them the list freely :p ;)
     
  10. Overkill

    Overkill Well-Known Member

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    lol...when was the last time you used chrome?
     
  11. Umbra Polaris

    Umbra Polaris Security Configuration Expert MalwareTips Staff

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    uh...i can't remember , long time ago maybe more than 6 months :p
     
  12. Overkill

    Overkill Well-Known Member

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    Comodo is a top notch security company, how can dragon be a joke?
    IMO if anyone can make a better more secure browser it's Comodo.
     
  13. Littlebits

    Littlebits Super Moderator MalwareTips Staff

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    I didn't say that Comodo wasn't a top notch company, but on the other hand just because they make a clone of another excellent program which really has any issues doesn't mean their clone is better.

    Why is Google Chrome the best Chromium base browser?

    1. Google wrote the code themselves and knows it better than any third-party developers like Comodo. Therefore it will be coded better than any of the other clones. Google has a much larger development team.

    2. Google Chrome is the first to get updates and patches for vulnerabilities. Third-party developers don't receive the updates and patches until Google releases the open-source which can be days after the fact that Google Chrome is already completely patched and updated.
    Then the third-party developers have to develop a new version with the open-source code which usually takes weeks or longer. Meanwhile the third-party clones will remain open to vulnerabilities. Sometimes I have seen third-party versions like Dragon take up to 3 months to patch critical vulnerabilities.

    3. Third-party clones don't offer anything that Google Chrome doesn't already have. For example Comodo DNS can be easily added to Google Chrome. All other extra features can be easily added by extensions.
    About the only real difference is the branding and GUI.

    Comodo Dragon is not a bad browser but on the other hand there is no reason to use it over Google Chrome because it offers no benefits. Both have privacy issues. Some might say it is faster than Google Chrome, this could be because it is missing Google's services which makes it lighter.

    Thanks.:D
     
  14. Umbra Polaris

    Umbra Polaris Security Configuration Expert MalwareTips Staff

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    Btw, how the latest Chrome version? you said they fixed the privacy issues and if i remember it has a policy-based sandbox, i will give it a new try.

    edit: just try chrome, but it block my Imgur's links:

    [​IMG]

    does it happened to anyone?
     
  15. Huracan

    Huracan Administrator MalwareTips Staff

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    I moved it out of the War Room, because it's not a AvsB discussion.

    [hr]

    If Littlebits is referring to those issues I'm thinking about, then they were solved in one of the earlier releases of Chrome, 2 years ago to be precise (Link).

    The Chrome Sandbox has always been the same, read more here and here.

    Chrome hasn't blocked it for me, but then again I don't have stacked up security software. You may want to check your AV, Firewall to see if they are blocking you access from Imgur.com. I use Imgur on a daily bases.

    [​IMG]

     
  16. Umbra Polaris

    Umbra Polaris Security Configuration Expert MalwareTips Staff

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    Imgur is accessible from all my other browsers except chrome (even dragon allows me to see my links), when i go to the site itself i cant see my pix... weird
     
  17. Littlebits

    Littlebits Super Moderator MalwareTips Staff

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    @ Umbra Corp, I can't see this image with any browser. I tried Firefox, Chrome, Opera and IE.

    It looks like the link is down.

    Good day.:D
     
  18. Overkill

    Overkill Well-Known Member

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    Well I guess it comes down to personal preference, I may try chrome in my VM for awhile but dragon has never let me down and I truly believe both comodo browsers are faster than the original ones FF & Chrome.
    Thanks
     
  19. jasonX

    jasonX Regular Member

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    I have Dragon but for some reason it is slow in my desktop and also with the laptop. Might be the ISP but as compared with Iron/Chrome it was slow. On Chrome and Iron I was accustomed to using Iron more than chrome. Didn't like the print preview of Chrome because it made printing slower. On all of my systems Firefox is quicker but I always run it SBIE and with Ghostery, AdBlock,WOT. KeyscramblerPro as realtime.
     
  20. Littlebits

    Littlebits Super Moderator MalwareTips Staff

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    For those who are worried about privacy issues:

    [​IMG]

    Chromium is the application that serves as the foundation for Google Chrome, with Google’s developers improving the software and adding a bunch of enhancements to make it worthy of the Google badge.

    Has all of the main features as Google Chrome except it lacks:

    * Google Update Service (must manually download updated zip files and extract then to a folder and delete the older version folder)
    * Google's re-branded sandboxed flash player (must install Adobe flash plugin)
    * Google's re-branded Java applets (must install Java Runtime plugin)
    * Google Documents Service (must install document readers like pdf, Microsoft Office and others to view online documents)
    * Google Safe Browsing (protects against malicious websites and phishing)
    * Various other Google Services like Google Translate, Search Suggest, etc.
    * Only available as a developer build
    * Only is available as a portable (no installer)

    Homepage
    Download (Softpedia Default Mirror zip file)
    Download (MajorGeeks zip file)

    This is the open-source code version that all Chromium based browsers are made from. It has no privacy issues, no Google, no Comodo or any other third-party privacy concerns. However adding some extensions can have some privacy concerns, read privacy policy of all added extensions.


    Enjoy!!:D
     

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