Chrome 86 released with password-related security improvements


Image: Google

Google has released Chrome 86 today to the stable channel, and this new release includes numerous security enhancements and new APIs for developers.

Each new Chrome release usually focuses on a main theme. For example, Chrome 84 focused on UI overhauls, while Chrome 85 focused on speed and API improvements.

On that tune, Chrome’s new v86 release comes with loads of password and security-related upgrades, but also with several deprecations and new APIs also included under the hood as well.

Password-checking feature coming to mobile

In December 2019, with Chrome 79, Google added a feature to Chrome named Password Checkup that would take the user’s synced passwords and check to see if they’ve been leaked online during data breaches at other companies.

With Chrome 86, Google says this feature (known as Safety Check since May 2020) is now coming to mobile versions of Chrome on Android and iOS.

Google Password Checkup

Image: Google [supplied]

Easier to change compromised passwords

Furthermore, Safety Check itself is also getting updates. Starting with Chrome 86, Safety Check supports the “.well-known/change-password” standard.

This is a W3C standard that allows websites to specify the URL where users can go to change their passwords.

Chrome 86 adding support for this standard means that users can press a button in the Chrome password settings screen and go directly to that page and change the password right away, rather than search blindly through a website’s complicated structure.

Biometric authentication for password filling on iOS

Google is also expanding the touch-to-fill feature on iOS. Originally launched on Android in July, this feature works by detecting the site the user is navigating on and then prompting the user to autofill passwords, if credentials are recorded.

The feature was created to prevent users from autofilling passwords on phishing sites, but it

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