Chromebook Bug reveals the location information through Guest mode

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Chromebook bug reveals
Source: pressboltnews.com

Chromebooks well known for their fast and secure Chrome OS performance and they are much cheaper than traditional laptops and computers. But recent reports are claiming that Chromebook Bug Reveals the location history of the device. 

A well-known fact is Chrome OS stores the WiFi logs, but these WiFi logs can possibly allow others to access your location history if they have physical access to your Chromebook.

Initially, this issue reported by the Verge. Which received this information from the committee on Liberatory Information Technology. Which is a tech collective that has several former Googlers, Based on reports.

Google addressed this issue, informed that it was looking into the issue. As of now, there is no fix for this issue but you can disable the Guest mode as a temporary solution to stop the “Chromebook Bug revealing location information” problem.

Here are the details about Chromebook Bug reveals location information issue

Actually, this Chromebook bug comes from the way Chromebooks treat their WiFi logs. Simply Chrome OS collects all the log information that shows when and how the device is connected to the internet. Generally, these logs can not decrypted easily, but still, they can be deciphered. Which reveals WiFi networks that were within the range of the device. 

When you combine this data with other available data, the WiFi logs could effectively reveal where the Chromebook movements over the period of time covered by the WiFi logs. Probably up to seven days of Chromebook location status.

Also accessing these WiFi logs is quite simple, Because the Chromebook stores these WiFi logs in unprotected memory. Means anyone can get their hands on WiFi logs without a password. Simply navigating to a standardized address brings up the logs. But for that, the person who wants to access these logs needs to have physical access to the device. 

Then they can get access to these logs through Guest mode. In guest mode, anyone can access not only the ones specific to that Guest’s session but also all the logs for that Chromebook can be accessible.

A temporary solution to fix this Chromebook bug revealing location information

If you are using a Chromebook there is no serious threat that this bud does to your device. This Chromebook bug won’t be useful to cybercriminals. Instead, it is just a considerable privacy concern. Especially from those who worried about the inspection from their family or co-workers.

However, you can still take some necessary steps to prevent his Chromebook bug to reveal your location information. For that Chromebook users need to disable the Guest browsing mode on their devices. Whereas most of the users are not even aware of this feature. If you already own a Chromebook then you should disable it right now. 

In case if you come across a situation where you need to share your device with anyone. just let them sign in to their own Google account using a separate user from the lock screen. And ask them to log out once they finish their work. Once they done just select the dropdown arrow next to their name on the lock screen. Then remove His/Hers Google account from the device altogether.

Disable the Guest Mode

Coming to this final solution, You need to disable this Guest Browsing mode on your Chromebook. To do that just follow these simple steps. Whenever your Chromebooks Guest browsing turned off. Users need to sign in using their own Google accounts on your device.

Turn off Guest browsing is just a temporary solution to Chromebook bug revealing location information. To disable it, you need to first check on which account you’re signed in. If it is in Guest mode then sign out. Then sign in again using the owner account. Now you need to select time at the bottom right.

After that just go to settings, from there you can see the People section. Click on it and select Manage other people. Then turn off Enable Guest Browsing option. That’s it you have successfully disabled your device’s Guest mode.

Other details

However, if your device has been recently updated, then it will display the Accounts section on the left sidebar of the Settings app instead of People. If that is the case then you need to click on that to access the ‘Manage other people’ section. From there you can toggle the Enable Guest browsing switch to make it disable to temporarily fix the Chromebook bug from revealing the location information.

Normally Google fixes these types of issues well before they come to the spotlight. Let’s hope this new Chromebook bug reveals location information and the issue also gets fixed by Google soon. On the contrary, reports claim that the company was aware of this issue all this time but didn’t try to provide any solution yet.

Conclusion

Hopefully, we have covered everything about how the Chromebook bug reveals location information in Guest mode. Based on reports, Chromebook stores WiFi logs in unprotected memory. These logs can be used to know user location history but to do that physical access to the device is a must. However, it can done without needing the user’s password or login credentials. Google is working on Fixing this issue.