Chrome Stealing Passwords Made Easy
Is your computer safe from intrusion and malicious attacks? I doubt it. Most of the internet users have been mentally abused by decades of crappy security anti-virus products (snake-oil) and have come to accept them as a guaranteed form of security.
The majority of anti-virus products have been unsuccessful in stopping hackers dumping session cookies, grabbing your history, installing malicious extensions that intercept browser activities, let alone installing OS user account level monitoring software. Security programmers have a hard time keeping up with hackers.
But Google Chrome has now made it easy for school kids, girlfriends, work associates, family or friends to crack all passwords saved in Chrome in 5 seconds. Hackers, on the other hand, take a lot longer, some less successful than others.
Most non-technical users (which would be the vast majority of the population) don’t know you can access Chrome’s saved passwords in chrome/settings/passwords.
Google Chrome is essentially allowing slightly technical users like school kids to easily view passwords, and neglecting to clearly warn the non-tech users of this vulnerability stating it will give the user a false sense of security. I was always under the impression of avoiding a false sense of security entails informing the user about the “view password” function, rather than avoiding it.
Stealing Chrome saved passwords is as simple and less time consuming than going for a pee.
You click on the customize link at the top right of Chrome then click on settings, under advanced setting you click “Manage saved passwords”.
A pop-up will appear with ALL saved passwords. Click the account then click “show”. And that’s it.
So what’s the big deal if Chrome displays passwords?
The big deal is your passwords can now be accessed by anyone that uses your computer, regardless whether you log in to your Gmail account or not. Chrome neglects to inform the user about the password vulnerability. If the users know their passwords are stored in such an easily accessible way they wouldn’t use the “Do you want to save your password” feature. Or for that matter use Google Chrome. Googles attitude is “your passwords are at anyway at risk from hackers”.
But what Google neglect to recognise is, they are the easy gateway to hacking.
Enable Autofill Displays Credit Card Passwords
And what’s even worst is “Enable Autofill to fill out web forms in a single click”. Chrome automatically stores your credentials if you have checked the box.
Just the other day I subscribed to an affiliate program to find all my data visible in Autofill. It seems by default when downloading Chrome “Autofill to fill out web forms in a single click” is enabled. I nearly crapped myself when I viewed the information stored in Autofill due to others using my laptop.
If you click on settings then “Manage Autofill settings” you can view credit card and other personal credentials.
This is what Google has to say:
If you don’t want to see saved personal information every time you fill out a form, you can turn it off.
Windows Autofill Display Credit Card Security Warning
Windows security themselves has the following to say about using Chrome Autofill:
Although the autofill feature is comfortable to use (for systems used by a single person) it should be avoided since it is proven to be a risk. A victim could offer to any https webpage sensitive data such as credit card number and expiration date, without the victim noticing
Chrome stores credit card data like card-holder name, card number as well as expiration date. Attackers now pray on Chrome by taking advantage of this saved information by creating https websites that operate from SSL connections with simple forms that the users fill in. The attacker then uses autofill to get stored sensitive data, even been able to bypass Chrome’s so-called security obstacles.
It surprises me that Google above all others don’t realize that storing data in a browser is not a good idea, specifically passwords that can be viewed in clear text. And even worst of all, they don’t inform the public of the security risks.
Google further say it’s your responsibility to password protect your computer and not to allow others to use it. Damn, could you just imagine telling your child and his friends they can’t play computer games or telling your girlfriend, co-worker and family members they can’t use your computer to check their email, etc?
And if my clients restricted me from using their computers, I wouldn’t have many clients.