Posts Tagged ‘security flaw’

A false sense of security with Google Chrome

Posted on: August 9th, 2013 by No Comments

Be careful of storing passwords in Chrome – a serious flaw in its security means that anyone with access to your computer can see your passwords. By just clicking on the settings icon, choosing ‘Show advanced settings’ and then ‘Manage saved passwords’ gives you access to any passwords you’ve inputted whilst browsing. A plain-text option reveals the passwords properly, meaning that they can simply be copied and pasted in an email, or captured in print screen.



The problem is Google is entirely aware of this problem but isn’t willing to address it. In a bizarre statement Justin Schuh, the head of Google’s Chrome developer team, said:

“We’ve also been repeatedly asked why we don’t just support a master password or something similar, even if we don’t believe it works. We’ve debated it over and over again, but the conclusion we always come to is that we don’t want to provide users with a false sense of security, and encourage risky behavior. We want to be very clear that when you grant someone access to your OS user account that they can get at everything.”

In theory this is true, but it should not be suggested by the organization behind one of the three most widely-used browsers on desktops worldwide. Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari all had similar problems, with the difference being that they chose to address it – either through the addition of a master password or through an increase in security features.

If you use Chrome and you’re not the sole user of your computer – or even if there’s any chance that someone else might have access to your browser – be wary of the way you store passwords. Either deselect the option when the standard Chrome request pops up after a log-in, or at this stage, choose a different browser.