Google Chrome browser is the latest
entry into the ongoing web browser war, mainly ruled by IE
and Firefox. The word Google behind the Chrome has given it lot of
hype and popularity than any other browser got in such a short
duration. However some of the salient features such as searching from the
same address bar, thumbnail view of top sites, private browsing etc
makes it stand apart from other browsers in the market.
Google Chrome Password Manager
Like other browsers Chrome also has
built-in login password manager functionality which keeps track of
the login secrets of all visited websites. Whenever user logins to
any website, he/she will be prompted to save the credentials for
later use and if user chooses so, then the username & passwords will
be stored in internal login database. So next time onwards whenever
user visits that website, he/she will be automatically logged in
using these stored credentials which saves hassle of entering the
credentials every time.
Also user can opt to never store the credentials for a particular
website. In such case that website is added to the exception list
and user will never be prompted again to remember the password for
Internals of Google Chrome Login Secrets
Chrome maintains internal database
for all the settings and book keeping things in the default profile
location. Generally on pre-Vista machines the profile path is
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application
On Vista onwards, default profile location will be as follows
Where <username> refers to currently logged on user.
The profile folder contains lot of files pertaining to history,
bookmarks, cache, settings etc. However there is one interesting file
called 'Web Data' where Chrome stores all the login passwords.
Newer version has moved the login passwords related database into new
file named 'Login Data'.
This login database file is in SQLite format which is lighter
version of popular SQL database. In addition to login credentials it
also stores other information such as auto complete entries, IE7 Logins,
search keywords etc.
The 'logins' table is where all the login or
sign-on secrets are stored by Chrome. This table contains following
Origin_URL - Base URL of the website
Action_URL - Login URL of the website
Username_element - Name of the username field in the website
Username_value - Actual username
Password_element - Name of the password field in the website
Password_value - Encrypted password
Date_created - Date when this entry is stored
Blacklisted_by_user - Set to 1 or 0 based on if website is blacklisted
Except the password field all other fields are entered in clear text.
The password for all stored websites is encrypted using Triple DES algorithm
seeded with logged on user's password. That means login secrets cannot be decrypted
across the user or system boundaries unless under certain conditions.
Though this mechanism allows only logged on user to view his/her
chrome secrets, it cannot prevent any malicious programs running on
the system from stealing the user's chrome passwords. That way
Firefox offers better security by providing option to set the master
password to view the stored login passwords.
You can use any SQLite editor to view the contents of this login database
file. Here is the snapshot of the
SQLite Database Browser showing
the contents of 'logins' table...
Recovering Chrome Secrets using 'Chrome Password Decryptor'
One can decrypt or recover the login secrets stored by Chrome using
Chrome Password Decryptor tool. This chrome password recovery application
automatically detect the default chrome profile path for the current
user and displays all the stored
login credentials in clear text after decrypting them. It also shows all
the blacklisted website entries added by the user. Export feature can be
used to save the login secrets to the local file in HTML format.
Here is the snapshot of ChromePasswordDecryptor showing the recovered
For more information and to download ChromePasswordDecryptor, please
visit the tool page here.