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How secure is Google Chrome's password-saving functionality? I learned that it saves passwords to a file and a database in which all the passwords are encrypted. In particular, I would like to know if Chrome is the only application that can decrypt it, or if any person or application can grab the plaintext password once the encrypted password is stored on the computer.

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  • How secure is the operating system and hardware on which Google chrome is running?
    – Biswapriyo
    Jul 26 at 8:35
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Is Chrome is the only application that can decrypt it's saved passwords?

No. There is a least one program that I know of that will display the passwords.

WebBrowserPassView by Nirsoft:

WebBrowserPassView is a password recovery tool that reveals the passwords stored by the following Web browsers: Internet Explorer (Version 4.0 - 11.0), Mozilla Firefox (All Versions), Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera. This tool can be used to recover your lost/forgotten password of any Website, including popular Web sites, like Facebook, Yahoo, Google, and GMail, as long as the password is stored by your Web Browser.

There are probably others.

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The browser's password-saving mechanism is a weak and insecure tool, for all browsers, although it's perhaps better than nothing.

It's better to use a cloud-based encrypted product that will be completely secure, even in case of catastrophic failures like losing your hard disk, and available on more than one device. Such products usually come in both desktop and browser-extension formats.

One such free product is Bitwarden. Another is LastPass, a freemium product.

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  • Why would cloud-based be necessary for improved security?
    – not2savvy
    Jul 26 at 11:04
  • Because: 1. You can't lose the passwords even if you lose the browser or the entire disk, 2. They are available on all your devices even your phone, 3. Even if your computer gets hacked, the passwords stay safe, 4. The passwords are encrypted and totally inaccessible except via a password that you keep safe (as in your head).
    – harrymc
    Jul 26 at 13:19
  • I think you’re mixing things up here. 3 and 4 are based on encryption and are not because of any cloud storage. 2 is an advantage wrt convenience not security. 1 assumes that cloud storage can never fail which is not correct.
    – not2savvy
    Jul 26 at 13:24
  • No mixing: Browsers are not that well encrypted. Cloud is safer than your computer.
    – harrymc
    Jul 26 at 13:30
  • At least Firefox offers the option to share configuration (including passwords) across devices.
    – vonbrand
    Jul 27 at 2:18

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