Google, in coming up with the Chromebook, argues that these have security-built in such that there is no need for an anti-virus software. Is that believable or is this new kid on the block very simple?
The difference with Chromebook is if a virus does come out, Google will be able to kill it remotely. They just close the security hole and its done. So no need for anti-virus, because by the time a virus is discovered (remember even an anti-virus needs to find the virus first, then find a 'cure' or 'block') it will already have the code-changed and the OS will no longer be vulnerable. Rather than using a band-aid, it will actually cure the system
A complex question actually. Protection against many types of malware still needs to be present, it's simply moved to the cloud. There will still need to be hostile web sites that are blocked, and remediation to the OS for vulnerabilities discovered, but this is for all intent taken over by Google. And, by virtue of not having traditional EXE files, another vector is removed. Of course, all this doesn't give the user a free pass to do dumb things online, safe computing still is the rule. My guess: expect to see more social engineering attacks as this technology rolls out.
I think it is going to be interesting. When it comes to hackers, expect the unexpected. It is inevitable that there are hackers already trying to find the loop holes with Google Chrome. So we shall see how Google handles it.