Google fixes hole in desktop search app

Google has fixed a potentially devastating hole in Google Inc.'s prevalent desktop search product could have exposed personal files on users' computers to data thieves, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report also quoted Google as saying that it has no evidence the vulnerability was exploited.

The flaw was uncovered late last year by Watchfire, a security-analysis provider, the report said.
The report said while the vulnerability exists in roughly 80% of Web applications, this problem appeared far more extreme 'given the sensitive nature of what Google Desktop is doing,' said Danny Allan, a researcher at Watchfire.

Google's free desktop product, first released in 2004, has millions of users and remains popular. Internet tracker Hitwise says visits to <http://desktop.google.com> tripled in January.

The report added that the system lets users set Google's indexing and searching capabilities loose on their own computers in addition to the Web. The service offers a fast, easy way to find documents, emails, instant-messaging transcripts, archived Web pages and other tidbits socked away on PCs.

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