Google Chrome, lack of transparency and security with keychain passwords.

Did you know that when you login to Google Chrome, it pre-fills the OSX Keychain with all your saved passwords?

And when you sign out of Google Chrome, it helpfully removes those passwords? Wrong! No it doesn’t!

This is a major problem if you’re using someone else’s machine temporarily. A work machine perhaps? My job requires me to move around from office to office, and usually I use my own MacBook. Some occasions call for using a different machine.

Moving passwords into the keychain

I’ve recently been at an agency which asked me to borrow a MacBook for two weeks, and as expected Chrome pulled down my passwords for me. Handy, until I worked out they were actually being stored in the keychain for anyone with admin rights to see. Simply change my password and VoilĂ ! You’re into every password I’ve saved in Chrome, plain text for all to see.

The only way to rectify this isn’t the expected “Sign out of Chrome”. Doing so will still leave all your password in the keychain. You’ll need to head into the keychain, locate all your password and delete them.

The problem is Chrome never notifies you of this, and it can cause issues with security and privacy. It’s another addition to the issue over plain text passwords being accessible with only a couple of clicks. I was shocked a year or so ago when someone at Technophobia showed me all my passwords when I handed them the machine to fix an issue. His words were “be careful in future”.

Thanks Chrome!

Microsoft releases IE8 Beta II, try harder!

This week sees Microsoft leave behind the IE7 which had lasted for two years, and announces the second beta of IE8, but does more effort need to be placed on getting users to actually upgrade, rather than adding another version number to the mix?

According to W3.org there are more or less the same amount of users toddling along with IE6 as there are IE7. IE6 is seven years old yesterday (27th) and still holds a market share of around 25% while IE7 holds 26%.

Firefox is steadily climbing up the browser tree holding 42%, and nearly all of those users are on the latest version (or there about). Why is this? Do Internet Explorer users not bother? Is it too complicated? Or is it even due to piracy? After all, if you have an illegal key, you won’t be able to upgrade. Let’s make a few points and ask some questions… Continue reading Microsoft releases IE8 Beta II, try harder!