Vulnerabilities / Threats

9/15/2016
05:00 PM
Connect Directly
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Chrome To Flag Non-HTTPS Logins, Credit Card Info 'Not Secure'

The move is part of a larger Google push to lock down Web traffic using encryption between the browser and Web server.

Google's Chrome 56 browser as of January 2017 will flag as "not secure" any non-HTTPS sites that transmit password and credit-card information.

Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS) combines the Web's lingua franca hypertext transport protocol with encryption from Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to guarantee the authenticity of a website, protect communication between client and server, and obviate man-in-the-middle attacks.

Currently, Chrome delivers HTTP connections with its neutral indicator, which Google says doesn't reflect the real lack of security in HTTP environments. "When you load a website over HTTP, someone else on the network can look at or modify the site before it gets to you," Chrome Security Team member Emily Schechter wrote in a Sept. 8 blog post. HTTPS usage is on the upswing and that more than half of Chrome desktop page loads are now served over HTTPS, she wrote.

Google Chrome is the most widely used browser in the world, with approximately 54% of the combined desktop and mobile user segments as of August, according to Net Market Share.

Google is also a member of the Let's Encrypt consortium, a certificate authority that aims to lock down the Web via HTTPS. The certificates are available for free and are easily configured, according to the Internet Security Research Group, which provides the certificate service. 

Without giving any timeframes, the vendor says it will also label HTTP pages "not secure" in Incognito browsing mode, where users may believe they have greater privacy than they actually do.

"Eventually, we plan to label all HTTP pages as non-secure, and change the HTTP security indicator to the red triangle that we use for broken HTTPS," Google says.

It's unclear how much this flagging will affect user behavior or increase online security, since as Google itself acknowledges, users don't view the lack of a green-lock secure icon in their browser bar as a warning. Users also get saturated by frequent security warnings.

Generally, when the Chrome team makes a user-visible security and/or privacy change, they do their homework well in advance of shipping, according to Jeremiah Grossman, chief of security strategy for SentinelOne.

"Google likely has solid data that this change will have the necessarily motivational impact to get more website owners to switch to HTTPS," Grossman says. "No Website owner wants to have their visitors presented with some type of scary warning about using their website, so this encourages them to upgrade."

Where does that leave makers of other popular Web browsers? Mozilla says that its Firefox Developer Edition has had similar security warnings since January, "displaying a struck-through lock icon when there is a password field on a non-secure site," according to a Mozilla spokesperson. As a result, Mozilla reports a 20% reduction in presentation of password fields on non-secure pages since January, the spokesperson adds.

Apple did not respond to a request for more information about securing its Safari browser.

Related Content:

 

Terry Sweeney is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered technology, networking, and security for more than 20 years. He was part of the team that started Dark Reading and has been a contributor to The Washington Post, Crain's New York Business, Red Herring, ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
New Bluetooth Hack Affects Millions of Vehicles
Dark Reading Staff 11/16/2018
Understanding Evil Twin AP Attacks and How to Prevent Them
Ryan Orsi, Director of Product Management for Wi-Fi at WatchGuard Technologies,  11/14/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-19406
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-21
kvm_pv_send_ipi in arch/x86/kvm/lapic.c in the Linux kernel through 4.19.2 allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and BUG) via crafted system calls that reach a situation where the apic map is uninitialized.
CVE-2018-19407
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-21
The vcpu_scan_ioapic function in arch/x86/kvm/x86.c in the Linux kernel through 4.19.2 allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and BUG) via crafted system calls that reach a situation where ioapic is uninitialized.
CVE-2018-19404
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-21
In YXcms 1.4.7, protected/apps/appmanage/controller/indexController.php allow remote authenticated Administrators to execute any PHP code by creating a ZIP archive containing a config.php file, hosting the .zip file at an external URL, and visiting index.php?r=appmanage/index/onlineinstall&url= ...
CVE-2018-19387
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-20
format_cb_pane_tabs in format.c in tmux 2.7 through 2.8 might allow attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL Pointer Dereference and application crash) by arranging for a malloc failure.
CVE-2018-19388
PUBLISHED: 2018-11-20
FoxitReader.exe in Foxit Reader 9.3.0.10826 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read, access violation, and application crash) via TIFF data because of a ConvertToPDF_x86!ReleaseFXURLToHtml issue.