Site Isolation is a security feature in Chrome that offers additional protection against some types of security bugs.? It makes it harder for untrustworthy websites to access or steal information from your accounts on other websites.
Websites typically cannot access each other's data inside the browser, thanks to code that enforces the Same Origin Policy.? Occasionally, security bugs are found in this code and malicious websites may try to bypass these rules to attack other websites.? The Chrome team aims to fix such bugs as quickly as possible.
Site Isolation offers a second line of defense to make such attacks less likely to succeed.? It ensures that pages from different websites are always put into different processes, each running in a sandbox that limits what the process is allowed to do.? It will also make it possible to block the process from receiving certain types of sensitive data from other sites.? As a result, a malicious website will find it more difficult to steal data from other sites, even if it can break some of the rules in its own process.
For more technical information about the protections offered by Site Isolation and how they are built, please see the project's design document.
Site Isolation has been enabled by default in Chrome 67?on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS?to?help to mitigate attacks that are able to read otherwise inaccessible data within a process, such as?speculative side-channel attack techniques?like Spectre/Meltdown.? Site Isolation reduces the amount of valuable cross-site information in a web page's process, and thus helps limit what an attacker could access.
In addition, Site Isolation also offers more protection against a certain type of web browser security bug, called universal cross-site scripting (UXSS).? Security bugs of this form would normally let an attacker bypass the Same Origin Policy within the renderer process, though they don't give the attacker complete control over the process.? Site Isolation can help protect sites even when some forms of these UXSS bugs occur.
This protection is made possible by the following changes in Chrome's behavior:
There is additional work underway to let Site Isolation offer protection against even more severe security bugs, where a malicious web page gains complete control over its process (also known as "arbitrary code execution").? These protections are not yet fully in place.
We are investigating options for enabling Site Isolation on Android as well.
Site Isolation represents a major architecture change for Chrome, so there are some tradeoffs when enabling it, such as increased memory overhead.? The team has worked hard to minimize this overhead and fix as many functional issues as possible.? On Chrome for desktop, a few known issues remain:
For web developers:
Note that there are more significant issues and overhead when enabling Site Isolation on Android, where it is still considered experimental.? We are working to resolve these issues so that Site Isolation can be enabled more broadly.
There are two ways to enable Site Isolation: isolating all sites, or isolating a list of certain sites.
Note that this mode is enabled by default for 99% of Chrome users on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS, as of Chrome 67.? The instructions below can still be useful to ensure the mode is enabled or for Chrome on Android.
This mode is easier to enable and ensures that all websites are put into dedicated processes that are not shared with other sites.? It can be enabled in any of the following ways:
This mode allows you to provide a list of specific origins that will be given dedicated processes, rather than isolating all sites.? The main advantage of this mode is that it typically uses less memory than isolating all sites, although it requires knowing which sites need isolation the most.? If using this approach, we recommend including sites that need extra protection on the list, such as any site that you log into.? (Note that subdomains are automatically included, so listing https://google.com will also protect https://mail.google.com.)? This mode can be enabled in either of the following ways:
Both "Isolating All Sites" and "Isolating Certain Sites" work on Chrome for Windows, Mac, Linux, and ChromeOS.? "Isolating All Sites" also works on Chrome for Android, but only via?chrome://flags#enable-site-per-process.? Note that changes to chrome://flags and the command line only affect the current device, and are not synced to your other instances of Chrome.
There are currently field trials in progress that may enable these modes automatically.
If you encounter problems when Site Isolation is enabled, you can try turning it off by undoing the steps above, to see if the problem goes away.
You can also try opting out of field trials of Site Isolation to diagnose bugs, by visiting chrome://flags#site-isolation-trial-opt-out, choosing "Opt-out (not recommended)," and restarting.
Starting Chrome with the --disable-site-isolation-trials flag is equivalent to the opt-out above.
Note that if Site Isolation has been enabled by enterprise policy, then none of these options can be used to disable it.
We encourage you to file bugs if you encounter problems when using Site Isolation that go away when disabling it.? In the bug report, please describe the problem and mention that you are using Site Isolation.
In Chrome?68 and later, you can visit chrome://process-internals to see whether a Site Isolation mode is enabled.
If you would like to test that Site Isolation has been successfully turned on in practice, you can follow the steps below:
If you see the subframe process in Chrome's Task Manager, then Site Isolation is correctly enabled.? These steps work when using the "Isolating all sites" approach above (e.g., --site-per-process).? They also work when using the "Isolating certain sites" approach above (e.g., --isolate-origins), as long as the list of origins provided includes either?//csreis.github.io or https://www.lf57.com.cn.
Site Isolation can help protect sensitive data on your website, but only if Chrome can distinguish it from other resources which any site is allowed to request (e.g., images, scripts, etc.).? Chrome currently tries to identify URLs that contain HTML, XML, and JSON files, based on MIME type and other HTTP headers.? See?Cross-Origin Read Blocking for Web Developers for information on how to?ensure that sensitive information on your website will be protected by Site Isolation.
See also Site Isolation for web developers for more discussion of how Site Isolation can protect web page content and in which cases it might affect page behavior.