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Re: Security of Autocomplete - Good News!

From: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:35:32 +0000
To: James Nurthen <james.nurthen@oracle.com>, John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com>, WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
CC: "stommepoes@stommepoes.nl" <stommepoes@stommepoes.nl>
Message-ID: <237D7BF2-20F2-4379-B595-25945728D17C@nomensa.com>
Before we get stuck into testing this, I’d note we had basically the same comment before, with a response:

I’m not sure how useful it is for us to be security testing an HTML feature that should have already been tested?

Plus it is actively working in browsers now. If we were proposing a completely new feature which only had un-tested ser-agents it would be different, but this is an advantage of scoping to a browser-supported feature.

As EA said, browsers tend to require user-action before filling things out, that seems to be the main mitigation.

In any case, I happen to have been reading some W3C process stuff recently, and apparently we should be asking for ‘horizontal reviews’ soon, including security. I can’t find that reference right now (in the pages of seemingly random links Michael provided), but I assume that will be soon. I’ll find out.



From: James Nurthen

The issue cited was hiding the fields using the following
      <p style="margin-left:-500px">
        <input id="phone" name="phone" type="text" placeholder="Your Phone">

Before responding please repeat your test using off-screen techniques to hide the fields.


From: John Foliot
Greetings all,

On today's call, I took the action to respond to Issue #775<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__github.com_w3c_wcag21_issues_775&d=DwMFaQ&c=RoP1YumCXCgaWHvlZYR8PZh8Bv7qIrMUB65eapI_JnE&r=CIHu8rc_0wRTTC_7DvWtiGNKjpA-3oTgbu_6ve6hP0I&m=KkDSaYcqHGmRC2JTiCM9wi-GL7ucqU9_tJdP18QSAt4&s=qOMpGTAX3xpK-6eEBdOe0DOm6taaNyqqXjVQJbtiuks&e=>. Before responding, I needed / wanted to do some basic testing myself.

I have created two forms that both include all 53 of the current @autocomplete tokens. The first form (https://john.foliot.ca/demos/autofill.php<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__john.foliot.ca_demos_autofill.php&d=DwMFaQ&c=RoP1YumCXCgaWHvlZYR8PZh8Bv7qIrMUB65eapI_JnE&r=CIHu8rc_0wRTTC_7DvWtiGNKjpA-3oTgbu_6ve6hP0I&m=KkDSaYcqHGmRC2JTiCM9wi-GL7ucqU9_tJdP18QSAt4&s=bt7lHc7aD9swLTUkzH2RlNKPbj0wkvtTSp8_3JOXIqY&e=>) uses input type="text" for all 53 inputs, and submitting the form echo's back the data being captured in the form fields. (Go ahead, give it a whirl.)

I have also created a second form, but this time I changed the bulk of the inputs to type="hidden" (I left the name-related fields as type="text", as most browsers and helper apps need at least "Name" to trigger the autocomplete functionality). The second form can be found at:   https://john.foliot.ca/demos/autofill_hidden.php<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__john.foliot.ca_demos_autofill-5Fhidden.php&d=DwMFaQ&c=RoP1YumCXCgaWHvlZYR8PZh8Bv7qIrMUB65eapI_JnE&r=CIHu8rc_0wRTTC_7DvWtiGNKjpA-3oTgbu_6ve6hP0I&m=KkDSaYcqHGmRC2JTiCM9wi-GL7ucqU9_tJdP18QSAt4&s=WNhgOBCLftJCQi44CAE009T1SSQXYrMDlDiq5qi2i7E&e=>

My basic testing confirms that when a field input is marked as "hidden", the autocomplete functionality is removed or otherwise disabled by the browsers to preserve user security. I have not done any further (advanced) testing, and so I cannot rule out the possibility of rogue sites using other scripted methods<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__freedom-2Dto-2Dtinker.com_2017_11_15_no-2Dboundaries-2Dexfiltration-2Dof-2Dpersonal-2Ddata-2Dby-2Dsession-2Dreplay-2Dscripts_&d=DwMFaQ&c=RoP1YumCXCgaWHvlZYR8PZh8Bv7qIrMUB65eapI_JnE&r=CIHu8rc_0wRTTC_7DvWtiGNKjpA-3oTgbu_6ve6hP0I&m=KkDSaYcqHGmRC2JTiCM9wi-GL7ucqU9_tJdP18QSAt4&s=jHMQ58ZLpj-jaZ_EROCyh0mHtjpEVYwzMmLgS6phzSk&e=> to try and attempt to override this security feature. We likely need to add a comment in the Understanding document noting this fact (maybe?).

I am in need of testing assistance for the OSX platform, as well as iOS. If you care to help, please ping me off-line.

Based upon these test results, I will craft a response for Issue 775 later today.


Received on Wednesday, 28 February 2018 09:36:04 UTC

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