bye bye Google Desktop…it was fun while it lasted

by ron on February 23, 2007

Google DesktopIn order to assist you in digging out content that’s buried deep in the abyss of your hard disk folders, many players have come to market to try to be the dominant desktop search provider.

The main players are: Google Desktop Search, Yahoo Desktop Search, Windows Desktop Search, and Copernic Desktop Search.

I have used them all, and in the end I chose to use Google Desktop Search, personally believing it to be superior to the others that I had tested.

About a month after Google Desktop Search came out, hackers managed to find a way to completely take over your system and get access to any of the information that had been indexed on your computer via a vulnerability in the Google Desktop Search program. As soon as I heard about this, I uninstalled Google Desktop Search from my machine and went back to using some of the other desktop search tools.

A week passed and then Google released an update to Google Desktop where this vulnerability had now been patched, and it was safe to use their technology once again. As a loyal Google fan, I decided to start using Google desktop once again.

About a month or so later, yet another serious hack was released again allowing hackers to completely access of all indexed information on your system due to another vulnerability in Google Desktop. This was now the second strike exploiting a serious flaw. So off to the Windows control panel I went to uninstall Google Desktop once again.

Within a week or so, Google had again patched the flaw and had an updated release which “was safe”.

I know, I must be a sucker, because back I came to Google once again, wanting to use what I considered to be the best desktop search engine that was available.

Well yesterday I came across a post saying that another serious flaw in Google Desktop had been fixed (I had not heard of the vulnerability ahead of time in this instance).

Based on the report in Yahoo News it seems that the vulnerability was reported to Google on January 4th and was fixed by Google on February 1st. That means that my system has been vulnerable for almost 2 months.

Google Desktop has now been removed from my systems for the third and last time. It may well be best desktop search engine around, but I can’t afford to risk having all of my private information (banking details, passwords, business accounts, etc) exposed to hackers.

So it’s bye bye Google Desktop… long and thanks for the fish.

Until such a time as Google Desktop gets rid of the tight integration between web searching and desktop searching, which is where the vulnerabilities are being exploited, I’m going to stay away from Google Desktop. I seriously doubt that Google will get rid of the tight web search integration with their desktop search, so this may be the last time I’ll ever use Google Desktop again 🙁

Now that I’m running Vista Ultimate, I’ve been using Vista’s built-in search capabilities more and more, and so far I’ve been quite pleased with what I’ve seen. Time will tell whether its capabilities will be sufficient to cater for my needs.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mohamed Mall February 23, 2007 at 1:32 pm

I was a great fan of Copernic as well as Google Dekstop; however imho Windows Search in Vista blows them all away.


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