Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Google Chrome stores plain text passwords….sort of.

My interest was of course piqued when Google announced they would be entering the browser realm, with Chrome. One of the things that has always interested me is the way different programs store passwords. While we are still working on decrypting the Chrome passwords from an imaged drive, I did make an interesting discovery about Chrome storing plain text passwords. Chrome is reliant on several files under the following paths

(dependent on OS):

XP:

Documents and Settings/User/Local Settings/Application Data/Google/Chrome/


Vista:

Users/App Data/Local/Google/Chrome/


As it turns out, if you visit a site that does not require you to log in via https or any variety of other secure methods, Chrome will create a cookie, which can be found in the file “Current Session” under Chrome/User Data/Default. Within that file will be a plain text cookie with your login name and password. If the site requires https, you can still view the log in, but the password is encrypted. However, there is one neat twist to this. If you log in with an incorrect password, even from an https site, the password is still saved in plain text. Using this information, you may be able to make an educated guess on what the actual password was. You can open the file with any text viewing program, or a Hex editor program.


This password recovery method unfortunately only works if, during the last instance of the browser being opened, the person typed in their password when prompted at a site that does not use a secure method to log-in. I also created a slide show presentation, which is can be found here, detailing the steps and data that can be viewed within Chrome.

As always Thoughts/Comments/Questions?

9 comments:

pkasting said...

This was the result of Chromium's session restore code saving form post data, which contained the password. On our trunk, we now no longer save post data in session restore, precisely to prevent this case.

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