W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webappsec@w3.org > December 2014

Re: Proposal: Marking HTTP As Non-Secure

From: Monica Chew <mmc@mozilla.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:12:19 -0800
Message-ID: <CAGSmrUufdwdaHNAF+LcUZX2O=H+qoTYNdJJKqNfGMx+-AD_duQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Chris Palmer <palmer@google.com>
Cc: "public-webappsec@w3.org" <public-webappsec@w3.org>, blink-dev <blink-dev@chromium.org>, security-dev <security-dev@chromium.org>, "dev-security@lists.mozilla.org" <dev-security@lists.mozilla.org>
Hello Chris,

I support the goal of this project, but I'm not sure how we can get to a
point where showing warning indicators makes sense. It seems that about 67%
of pageviews on the Firefox beta channel are http, not https. How are
Chrome's numbers?

http://telemetry.mozilla.org/#filter=beta%2F34%2FHTTP_PAGELOAD_IS_SSL&aggregates=multiselect-all!Submissions&evoOver=Builds&locked=true&sanitize=true&renderhistogram=Graph

Security warnings are often overused and therefore ignored [1]; it's even
worse to provide a warning for something that's not actionable. I think
we'd have to see very low plaintext rates (< 1%) in order not to habituate
users into ignoring a plaintext warning indicator.

Lots of site operators don't support HTTPS, in fact some of them (e.g.,
https://nytimes.com and https://monica-at-mozilla.blogspot.com, which is
out of my control) redirect to plaintext in order to avoid mixed content
warnings. I don't think that user agents provided the right incentives in
this case, and showing a warning 100% of the time to a NYTimes user seems
like a losing battle.

Why not shift the onus from the user to the site operators? I would love to
see a "wall of shame" for the Alexa top 1M sites that don't support HTTPS,
redirect HTTPS to HTTP, and don't support HSTS. Perhaps search providers
could use those to penalize rankings, as Google already does for non HTTPS
sites. Efforts to make it cheap and easy to deploy HTTPS also need to
advance.

Thanks,
Monica

[1] http://lorrie.cranor.org/pubs/sslwarnings.pdf

On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 4:46 PM, Chris Palmer <palmer@google.com> wrote:
>
> Hi everyone,
>
> Apologies to those of you who are about to get this more than once, due to
> the cross-posting. I'd like to get feedback from a wide variety of people:
> UA developers, web developers, and users. The canonical location for this
> proposal is:
> https://www.chromium.org/Home/chromium-security/marking-http-as-non-secure
> .
>
> Proposal
>
> We, the Chrome Security Team, propose that user agents (UAs) gradually
> change their UX to display non-secure origins as affirmatively non-secure..
> We intend to devise and begin deploying a transition plan for Chrome in
> 2015.
>
> The goal of this proposal is to more clearly display to users that HTTP
> provides no data security.
>
> Request
>
> We’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts on this proposal, and to discuss with
> the web community about how different transition plans might serve users.
>
> Background
>
> We all need data communication on the web to be secure (private,
> authenticated, untampered). When there is no data security, the UA should
> explicitly display that, so users can make informed decisions about how to
> interact with an origin.
>
> Roughly speaking, there are three basic transport layer security states for
> web origins:
>
>
>    -
>
>    Secure (valid HTTPS, other origins like (*, localhost, *));
>    -
>
>    Dubious (valid HTTPS but with mixed passive resources, valid HTTPS with
>    minor TLS errors); and
>    -
>
>    Non-secure (broken HTTPS, HTTP).
>
>
> For more precise definitions of secure and non-secure, see Requirements for
> Powerful Features <http://www.w3.org/TR/powerful-features/> and Mixed
> Content <http://www.w3.org/TR/mixed-content/>.
>
> We know that active tampering and surveillance attacks, as well as passive
> surveillance attacks, are not theoretical but are in fact commonplace on
> the web.
>
> RFC 7258: Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack
> <https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7258>
>
> NSA uses Google cookies to pinpoint targets for hacking
> <
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/12/10/nsa-uses-google-cookies-to-pinpoint-targets-for-hacking/
> >
>
> Verizon’s ‘Perma-Cookie’ Is a Privacy-Killing Machine
> <http://www.wired.com/2014/10/verizons-perma-cookie/>
>
> How bad is it to replace adSense code id to ISP's adSense ID on free
> Internet?
> <
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/25438910/how-bad-is-it-to-replace-adsense-code-id-to-isps-adsense-id-on-free-internet
> >
>
> Comcast Wi-Fi serving self-promotional ads via JavaScript injection
> <
> http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/09/why-comcasts-javascript-ad-injections-threaten-security-net-neutrality/
> >
>
> Erosion of the moral authority of transparent middleboxes
> <https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-hildebrand-middlebox-erosion-01>
>
> Transitioning The Web To HTTPS <https://w3ctag.github.io/web-https/>
>
> We know that people do not generally perceive the absence of a warning
> sign.
> (See e.g. The Emperor's New Security Indicators
> <
> http://commerce.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/The%20Emperors_New_Security_Indicators.pdf
> >.)
> Yet the only situation in which web browsers are guaranteed not to warn
> users is precisely when there is no chance of security: when the origin is
> transported via HTTP. Here are screenshots of the status quo for non-secure
> domains in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer:
>
> [image: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 5.08.48 PM.png]
>
> [image: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 5.09.55 PM.png]
>
> [image: Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 5.11.04 PM.png]
>
> [image: ie-non-secure.png]
>
> Particulars
>
> UA vendors who agree with this proposal should decide how best to phase in
> the UX changes given the needs of their users and their product design
> constraints. Generally, we suggest a phased approach to marking non-secure
> origins as non-secure. For example, a UA vendor might decide that in the
> medium term, they will represent non-secure origins in the same way that
> they represent Dubious origins. Then, in the long term, the vendor might
> decide to represent non-secure origins in the same way that they represent
> Bad origins.
>
> Ultimately, we can even imagine a long term in which secure origins are so
> widely deployed that we can leave them unmarked (as HTTP is today), and
> mark only the rare non-secure origins.
>
> There are several ways vendors might decide to transition from one phase to
> the next. For example, the transition plan could be time-based:
>
>
>    1.
>
>    T0 (now): Non-secure origins unmarked
>    2.
>
>    T1: Non-secure origins marked as Dubious
>    3.
>
>    T2: Non-secure origins marked as Non-secure
>    4.
>
>    T3: Secure origins unmarked
>
>
> Or, vendors might set thresholds based on telemetry that measures the
> ratios of user interaction with secure origins vs. non-secure. Consider
> this strawman proposal:
>
>
>    1.
>
>    Secure > 65%: Non-secure origins marked as Dubious
>    2.
>
>    Secure > 75%: Non-secure origins marked as Non-secure
>    3.
>
>    Secure > 85%: Secure origins unmarked
>
>
> The particular thresholds or transition dates are very much up for
> discussion. Additionally, how to define “ratios of user interaction” is
> also up for discussion; ideas include the ratio of secure to non-secure
> page loads, the ratio of secure to non-secure resource loads, or the ratio
> of total time spent interacting with secure vs. non-secure origins.
>
> We’d love to hear what UA vendors, web developers, and users think. Thanks
> for reading!
> _______________________________________________
> dev-security mailing list
> dev-security@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-security
>
Received on Friday, 19 December 2014 13:52:16 UTC

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