Google Chrome 77 breaks login pages on Netgear devices

Netgear NAS device owners impacted the hardest.

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Image: haikuman // Netgear

Google Chrome 77, released yesterday, has broken the login pages on modern Netegar devices, according to an avalanche of complaints on the company's official forum.

Devices like Nighthawk routers [1, 2, 3], Orbi WiFi meshes/routers, N600 modems, and ReadyNAS network-attached storage (NAS) systems [1, 2] appear to have been impacted.

According to reports, users trying to access their devices' admin page are either being redirected to the password page instead, or seeing an access denied error message.

While most people don't need to access their routers or modems' administration pages on a daily basis, the issue has had a more significant impact on owners of Netgear NAS equipment.

NAS owners reported being unable to log into their devices, and henceforth, unable to retrieve, upload, or share files stored on the device -- effectively making the device useless when accessed using the latest Chrome version.

The exact technical issue that caused the Netgear login page bug is unknown. However, Netgear is working on firmware updates to fix the login problems.

"We are aware of this issue and all relevant parties have been notified, there will be a fix as soon as possible," a Netgear spokesperson said.

"For the time being, we recommend that you manage your router using a different browser. We have confirmed that the issue does not affect Firefox or Edge."

Most impacted devices support firmware auto-updates, but Netgear customers are advised to use another browser and make sure they install any firmware updates released in the coming days.

If Chrome users don't want to switch browsers, there's also a workaround, as detailed in this Chromium bug report from August, when the issue was first spotted during Chrome beta testing. They're advised to disable the chrome://flags/#http-auth-committed-interstitials flag until Chrome or Netgear roll out an update.

However, this won't be necessary, as ZDNet has been told that the Chrome team plans to push a silent update that will disable this flag for all users. The update should roll out to users on September 13.