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Google announces another partially fixed security flaw

You're safe as long as you own a Mac
Mon Nov 04 2013, 17:21
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SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has added a security feature in the latest build of its popular Chrome web browser.

The recently released Mac build contains a new flag that when toggled will enhance security for passwords that you let Chrome save, although deep down, it worries you.

The flag "chrome://flags/#enable-password-manager-reauthentication" will, once triggered, ensure that before allowing a saved password to be viewed in plain text, the Mac system password has to be entered first.

Writing on his Google+ page, Chromium developer Francois Beaufort explained that authentication lasts for up to a minute before the system password has to be entered again.

The post prompted a positive reaction from Beaufort's followers, with requests to bring the feature to other platforms, though a Linux user has suggested that Chromium in Linux already does this.

Chrome has always been somewhat lacksadasical in its approach to Saved Passwords. While it makes it very easy for users to store them, it has always been on a cautionary basis.

Up to now, by pointing your browser at "chrome://settings/passwords", you could see a full list of all passwords saved to that account, meaning that every time you left your computer unattended, you invited any passer-by to print your screen and have a list of every password you ever used.

Android users appear to be safe from the issue as the "chrome://" protocol is not present in the Android build. However, everyone else should hope that this flag will be rolled out to Chrome or Chromium on other operating systems as quickly as possible. µ


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