Feeds

Google gives GMail always-on encryption

New feature closes security loophole

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Google is adding a much-demanded feature to its email service that offers improved security by ensuring users get an encrypted connection each time they access their account via a web connection.

The new option means email sessions are automatically protected from start to finish with the secure sockets layer protocol even if a user accesses the account by typing http://gmail.com, rather than https://gmail.com/ (notice the presence of "https" in the latter).

The move helps protect users against a vulnerability known as sidejacking, which researcher Rob Graham of Errata Security warned against last year. It turns out the vast majority of websites drop the SSL protection as soon as a user has logged in. This allows attackers to snoop on web sessions over unsecured Wi-Fi connections even when a password was typed into a page during an encrypted session.

Google is one of the only services we know of that guards against this threat by offering start-to-finish SSL protection. But up to now, users ran the risk that a connection might inadvertently be unprotected, either because they forgot to type in the correct URL or the connect was reset.

To turn on the feature, open your GMail account, choose settings and scroll to the bottom of the page. In the section labeled "Browser Connection," choose the radio button that says "Always use https." Google warns the protection could slow down connections, so if you don't use insecure networks you may not want to bother. The offering doesn't appear to be available yet for Google Apps.

If only eBay, Yahoo Mail, MySpace, Facebook and the rest of the gang would follow suit.

Google has more about the feature here. (Hat tip to Spyware Sucks blog.) ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.