Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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
7 Truths About BEC Scams
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  6/13/2019
DNS Firewalls Could Prevent Billions in Losses to Cybercrime
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/13/2019
Cognitive Bias Can Hamper Security Decisions
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/10/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12855
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-16
In words.protocols.jabber.xmlstream in Twisted through 19.2.1, XMPP support did not verify certificates when used with TLS, allowing an attacker to MITM connections.
CVE-2013-7472
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
The "Count per Day" plugin before 3.2.6 for WordPress allows XSS via the wp-admin/?page=cpd_metaboxes daytoshow parameter.
CVE-2019-12839
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
In OrangeHRM 4.3.1 and before, there is an input validation error within admin/listMailConfiguration (txtSendmailPath parameter) that allows authenticated attackers to achieve arbitrary command execution.
CVE-2019-12840
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
In Webmin through 1.910, any user authorized to the "Package Updates" module can execute arbitrary commands with root privileges via the data parameter to update.cgi.
CVE-2019-12835
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-15
formats/xml.cpp in Leanify 0.4.3 allows for a controlled out-of-bounds write in xml_memory_writer::write via characters that require escaping.