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With Windows 8, Microsoft introduces the Metro Apps which run in a sandbox environment, and therefore should be more secure. I would be interested to know if this higher security that the metro apps bring to the Windows OS also apply to the Chrome Browser, that is I want to know if there is any advantage from a security perspective to run Google Chrome in Metro Mode over the Desktop Mode ?



Wikipedia: To ensure stability and security, apps run within a sandboxed environment, and require permissions to access certain functionality, such as accessing the Internet or a camera. The sandbox typically provides a tightly controlled set of resources for guest programs to run in, such as scratch space on disk and memory. Network access, the ability to inspect the host system or read from input devices are usually disallowed or heavily restricted. In this sense, sandboxes are a specific example of virtualization.

Windows 8 introduces a new security sandbox, called AppContainer, that offers more fine-grained security permissions and which blocks Write and Read Access to most of the system. AppContainer is a new isolation method applied to Metro apps, which by default prevents them from reading and writing to most of the Operating System, with the exception of the app’s own AppData folder. More here.

migrated from superuser.com Dec 23 '13 at 12:05

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The difference in sandboxing is not important. Chrome already allows NO access to the file system in its regular mode. You don't gain anything using appcontainer as opposed to integrity levels once you hit 'untrusted'.

I don't believe the Broker process in Metro mode is any more confined, therefor you still have a privileged broker (medium integrity/ same level of access) and an unprivileged renderer (no access in either sandbox).

Functionally, there should be no significant difference, even if the sandbox is implemented slightly differently.

edit: Some notes, because I do not have enough rep to comment:

When it runs in Metro you do not get a "double sandbox". You get the same sandbox implemented through appcontainer instead of integrity, and you get the same user tokens, etc, that are always implemented.

@Avid - "Browser sandbox != operating system sandbox... "

As a matter of fact, "browser sandbox == operating system sandbox". The operating system provides virtually all of the functionality for the sandbox - integrity levels and appcontainer are a Windows feature, not a Chrome feature.

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Google Chrome already supports sandboxing so using it in metro would be superfluous from a security point of view.

  • Yes, I know that every tab in chrome runs in a sandbox. But is there a reference that Chrome in Metro Mode enabled does not provide more security ? Because if I remember right, IE does give more security in Metro mode. – Devid Dec 22 '13 at 14:20
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    All metro apps are running in a sandbox so that would include the Chrome Metro app I imagine. Whether or not running a sandbox inside another sandbox is really "more" secure is a matter of debate. If security is really important on this system you can run the browser inside a VM for a true sandbox. – wbouzane Dec 22 '13 at 14:45
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    Browser sandbox != operating system sandbox... – AviD Dec 23 '13 at 12:08
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I would recommend you to use chrome in metro mode as it reduces the cluster of cookies and malwares and many such websites which are linked together.You should use chrome in metro mode as it will not only prevent malwares and viruses , it also does not let most of the viruses from launching into background.You will be more secured with the metro chrome.

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    Can you explain what a cluster of cookies is, why they'd be harmful, and why Chrome as a "Metro" app would reduce the number of cookies? What does "linked together" refer to? Generally it would be good to back up your answer with references or details to support your claims. – slhck Dec 22 '13 at 13:30
  • Sorry for not explaining it better.By cluster of cookies I meant that sometimes when you log in ID's the normal web browser catches those credentials and save them as cookies (it's different from clicking on save password) but will not be saved in chrome metro mode unless someone changes the settings. – Hunter Dec 22 '13 at 13:37
  • By linked together I meant that some websites that opens up two or more pages simultaneously in background will not happen in metro mode.And cookies are not harmful for system but someone else who is an expert in hacking can get hands on those cookies and tamper the data while logging in and end up opening your ID's thus vulnerable to hacking. – Hunter Dec 22 '13 at 13:40
  • @Hunter I think that running Chrome in Metro Mode does contribute to the security, but that is not enough ? Is there a reference or something where this is proven ? – Devid Dec 22 '13 at 17:36
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    I don't have any proof for this it's just my personal experience. Once my account was hacked due to these cookies but as using Chrome in metro mode I have been having less issues with Windows. As I play a lot of games I have to keep more than two accounts. So I don't have any proof for this but simply I have checked my history and cookies which do not save in metro mode chrome. A lot of malwares do not get downloaded during that usage but I have noticed that they simply run in background when I run chrome not in metro mode. – Hunter Dec 23 '13 at 9:04

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