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

Re: [referrer] HTTPS->HTTP

From: Jochen Eisinger <eisinger@google.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:05:13 +0000
Message-ID: <CALjhuie-WGLGcc1YZVN=xP0mwrTLwGPmO4NB1vPD46OrvT22tA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Mike West <mkwst@google.com>, Brian Smith <brian@briansmith.org>
Cc: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, WebAppSec WG <public-webappsec@w3.org>
Google uses the "origin" policy on the search result page.

I agree that "always" is a two edged sword. From my point of view, the
current default referrer behavior makes sense in a world where everybody is
happy with HTTP, and HTTPS means something like "banking".

Today, I think we'd rather have everybody on HTTPS, and I see the "always"
policy as a way to make it easier for web sites to migrate to HTTPS without
punishing them.


On Fri Oct 24 2014 at 11:56:41 AM Mike West <mkwst@google.com> wrote:

> +Jochen, who hopefully has a few minutes to think about this before he
> disappears into vacationland.
> -mike
> --
> Mike West <mkwst@google.com>
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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 10:05:42 UTC

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