A missing ampersand locked some users out of their Chromebooks

The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 open, seen from the back, on a stone bench.
Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge

A major bug in a recent Chrome OS release (91.0.4472.147) left some users bricked out of their Chromebooks. Reddit, in due course, has already spotted the issue. As some eagle-eyed users, including one “elitist_ferret” (first spotted by Android Police), have pointed out, the problem appears to boil down to a missing ampersand in Google’s code.

Specifically, it seems that Google used one “&” in a conditional statement in its Cryptohome VaultKeyset, rather than two “&&”, which is the “AND” operator in C++, breaking up the line. The mishap prevented Chrome OS from checking user passwords against stored keys, as Ars Technica notes, and that left some users unable to log in.

Google has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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