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

Re: Proposal: Marking HTTP As Non-Secure

From: Michal Zalewski <lcamtuf@google.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2014 11:47:47 -0800
Message-ID: <CAN44M3Vj-Rj4++nmFTsaL-Ra7KuMQR7Zn-0zXg8HraraGAE=bg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Igor Bukanov <igor@mir2.org>
Cc: Chris Palmer <palmer@google.com>, Eduardo Robles Elvira <edulix@agoravoting.com>, "dev-security@lists.mozilla.org" <dev-security@lists.mozilla.org>, blink-dev <blink-dev@chromium.org>, "public-webappsec@w3.org" <public-webappsec@w3.org>, security-dev <security-dev@chromium.org>
> I would like to see some hypothetical encrypted http:// when a browser
> present a page as if it was over https:// if everything of a secure origin
> and as if it was served over plain http if not. That is, if a future browser
> shows warnings for plain http, so it will show the same warnings for
> encrypted http:// with insecure resources.

Browsers have flirted with along the lines of your proposal with
non-blocking mixed content icons. Unfortunately, websites are not
static - so the net effect was that if you watched the address bar
constantly, you'd eventually get notified that your previously-entered
data that you thought will be visible only to a "secure" origin has
been already leaked to / exposed to network attackers.

The main point of having a visible and stable indicator for encrypted
sites is to communicate to the user that the site offers a good degree
of resilience against the examination or modification of the exchanged
data by network attackers. (It is a complicated property and it is
often misunderstood as providing clear-cut privacy assurances for your
online habits, but that's a separate topic.)

Any changes that make this indicator disappear randomly at unexpected
times, or make the already-complicated assurances more fragile and
even harder to explain, are probably not the right way to go.

Received on Sunday, 14 December 2014 19:48:33 UTC

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