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Google Wants to Remove FTP From Chrome. Would you even care?



Google has wanted to remove FTP from Chrome for years, and Chrome developers are taking a new step toward that goal. After all, FTP is an old, unencrypted protocol.

As Lawrence Abrams points out at Chrome, he says, "I want to stop using Chrome." itself. However, Chrome still wants to publish a list of each FTP folder's contents in the browser.

Google's long-term goal to eventually get rid of FTP support. Mozilla has the same goal. FTP support is an old protocol. Like HTTP, it's unencrypted. With the Internet moving towards encrypted HTTPS, we should be moving away from FTP. The lack of encryption means people could snoop on ftp traffic or perform a man-in-the-middle attack on modify files via ftp.

Personally, I'd hate to see ftp support removed immediately. So many PC manufacturers host driver installers and firmware updates on FTP sites. Removing FTP support from Chrome means I would have to use a separate FTP client to download them, and that would annoy.

Of course, PC manufacturers should not be doing this. FTP does not just have a bad user interface-it's not secure. Hosting executable files on an unencrypted FTP connection means they could be modified in transit with a man-in-the-middle attack. That means malware in critical system files. By way of minimizing FTP support in the browser, Google wants to encourage websites like this to ditch FTP so we do not need it.

In 2014, a Chrome developer said 0.1% to 0.2% of Chrome users accessed FTP site every week. That may be a lot of Chrome users, but it's a lot of people. Google says there are over one billion Chrome users, which means between one and two million people. That's why Google has not pulled the trigger yet. But it's only a matter of time.

RELATED: Why Does Google Chrome Say Sites Are "Not Secure"?


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