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

Re: [referrer] HTTPS->HTTP

From: Mike West <mkwst@google.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:56:21 +0200
Message-ID: <CAKXHy=enB1v-bekN5EENwurD2MD=19Eh=ezTvisedPo-zXdx2A@mail.gmail.com>
To: Brian Smith <brian@briansmith.org>, Jochen Eisinger <eisinger@google.com>
Cc: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, WebAppSec WG <public-webappsec@w3.org>
+Jochen, who hopefully has a few minutes to think about this before he
disappears into vacationland.


Mike West <mkwst@google.com>
Google+: https://mkw.st/+, Twitter: @mikewest, Cell: +49 162 10 255 91

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On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 9:03 AM, Brian Smith <brian@briansmith.org> wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net> wrote:
>> The bigger issue, however, is whether this is a good idea at all. In
>> particular, "unsafe-url" removes this prohibition completely, for an
>> *entire* page.
>> This is likely to create a situation where those providing third-party
>> functionality want/require referers, so they tell HTTPS sites to set
>> "unsafe-url" or face a functional (or financial) penalty; now not only the
>> intended content but all other fetches from the page will send a referer.
>> I understand that there's a delicate balance here; if referers aren't
>> sent at all, sites may be reluctant to move to HTTPS (although one might
>> just say that the sites they're linking to should move to HTTPS!). The
>> question is whether there's a net improvement to Web security.
>> Arguably, origin-only and origin-when-cross-origin might get that balance
>> right; I question whether unsafe-url and always (which isn't
>> well-documented, btw) do.
>> Has this been discussed yet?
> Mark, if I understand you correctly, then I very much agree with you. See
> these messages, and others in that thread:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webappsec/2014Jun/0174.html
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webappsec/2014Jun/0162.html
> See also:
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/mozilla.dev.privacy/wmPzPCdzIU8/Vrugn8XquL4J
> Cheers,
> Brian
Received on Friday, 24 October 2014 09:57:12 UTC

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