Chrome to Warn Users Completing Suspicious Forms

Users of Google's cross-platform web browser Chrome are to be shown a warning when they start to complete a form that may not be secure. 

Beginning in M86, Chrome will warn users when they try to complete forms on secure (HTTPS) pages that are submitted insecurely. These forms, which are described on the Chromium Blog as “mixed forms,” have been deemed by Google to be unsafe.

post published on the blog on Monday reads: "These 'mixed forms' (forms on HTTPS sites that do not submit on HTTPS) are a risk to users’ security and privacy.

"Information submitted on these forms can be visible to eavesdroppers, allowing malicious parties to read or change sensitive form data."

In an effort to protect users from inadvertently sharing details with malicious actors, Chrome will be disabling the autofill facility on mixed forms. 

However, the change will not affect the autofill process used by Chrome's password manager.

"On mixed forms with login and password prompts, Chrome’s password manager will continue to work," the blog states. "Chrome’s password manager helps users input unique passwords, and it is safer to use unique passwords even on forms that are submitted insecurely than to reuse passwords."

From M86, when a user begins filling out a mixed form, they will be shown warning text alerting them that the form is not secure. The text will read: "This form is not secure. Autofill has been turned off."

If a user ignores the warning and tries to submit a mixed form, they will see a full-page alert highlighting the potential risk and asking them to confirm if they’d like to go ahead with the submission.

Explaining why Chrome is making these changes, Chrome Security Team's Shweta Panditrao wrote: "Before M86, mixed forms were only marked by removing the lock icon from the address bar. We saw that users found this experience unclear and it did not effectively communicate the risks associated with submitting data in insecure forms."

Tim Wade, technical director, CTO Team at Vectra, commented: “By creating simple, straightforward warnings that users understand demystifies security for the end user, which makes the web a much safer place.”

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