Google pushed a one-character typo to production, bricking Chrome OS devices

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Google says it has fastened a serious Chrome OS bug that locked customers out of their units. Google’s bulletin says that Chrome OS model 91.0.4472.165, which was briefly accessible this week, renders customers unable to log in to their units, primarily bricking them.

Chrome OS mechanically downloads updates and switches to the brand new model after a reboot, so customers who reboot their units are all of a sudden locked out them. The go-to recommendation whereas this damaged replace is out there may be to not reboot.

The bulletin says {that a} new construct, model 91.0.4472.167, is rolling out now to repair the problem, however it may take a “few days” to hit everybody. Customers affected by the unhealthy replace can both await the machine to replace once more or “powerwash” their machine—that means wipe all of the native information—to get logged in. Chrome OS is primarily cloud-based, so when you’re not doing one thing superior like operating Linux apps, this answer presents much less of an inconvenience than it could on different working techniques. Nonetheless, some customers are complaining about misplaced information.

ChromeOS is open supply, so we are able to get a bit extra element concerning the repair because of Android Police searching down a Reddit remark from person elitist_ferret. The issue apparently boils all the way down to a single-character typo. Google flubbed a conditional assertion in Chrome OS’s Cryptohome VaultKeyset, the a part of the OS that holds person encryption keys. The road ought to learn “if (key_data_.has_value() && !key_data_->label().empty()) {” however as a substitute of “&&”—the C++ model of the “AND” operator—the unhealthy replace used a single ampersand, breaking the second half of the conditional assertion.

ChromeOS's programming typo. It happens to the best of us.
Enlarge / ChromeOS’s programming typo. It occurs to the perfect of us.

It appears like, due to this error, Chrome OS by no means correctly checked person passwords in opposition to the saved keys, so even right passwords got here again with a message saying, “Sorry, your password couldn’t be verified.”

The entire promoting level of Chrome OS is that it is dependable and unbreakable, and botched updates like this damage the OS. It isn’t clear how such an apparent, show-stopping downside like this made it into the secure launch channel. Chrome OS has three testing channels that adjustments are speculated to undergo—the “canary,” “dev,” and “beta” channels—with weeks of testing between releases. In some way this bug escaped that total course of. This downside additionally looks as if one thing a unit take a look at or automated testing may have caught—not with the ability to log in is fairly apparent.

The error marks the second faulty Chrome OS replace pushed out this month. An replace originally of July made CPU usage spike on some fashions, slowing them all the way down to a crawl.

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