I've installed an Electron app "Google Play Music Desktop Player" which presents a Google login screen:

Login screen that appears to be from Google

This is in a standalone window with no URL displayed. Although I have no reason not to trust this app, how can I be sure that this login screen is genuine?

I'm running Chrome on Fedora.

  • 1
    I would run WireShark to analyze your network traffic, then "login" with fake credentials and see where the request is being sent
    – nd510
    Oct 31, 2016 at 0:07
  • 1
    Does pressing F12 button bring out the developer tools? If it does, then you can check the web traffic. Without an address bar, you are at the programmers mercy
    – JOW
    Oct 31, 2016 at 1:19
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    This is exactly the type of question you SHOULD be asking, and because people become accustomed to not verifying what page they are on, it makes it easier for attackers to perform attacks as described here: docs.google.com/document/d/…
    – Johan
    Oct 31, 2016 at 8:21

1 Answer 1


Here are some ways I can think of but if someone tried hard enough I don't think there would be a way to stop him.

Check a fake email - Google's login will only display a password input if the username exists so by entering any email you know does not exists (Ex: [email protected]) if the password box still shows up then it is not a genuine Google login page.

Try viewing the source - Since the app is pretty much a browser you might be able to view the source. Try right click and view source or F12.

Packet sniffer - Download a packet sniffer such as Wire Shark and check where the traffic is coming from. Is it from Google or from another source?

These are only a few examples but sadly there is no solid way I can think of. Be cautious and pay attention to anything abnormal.

  • 3
    The one problem with the fake email check is that a malicious application could inject JavaScript (or do something similar) to retrieve data without interfering, thus passing your test Nov 2, 2016 at 2:38
  • @NicholasMertin You are correct, although it is a type of test :) Nov 2, 2016 at 10:29
  • Thank you @BubbleHacker. The app doesn't allow viewing the source nor can I open Dev Tools. It did pass the (not foolproof) fake email test and Wireshark shows traffic to googleusercontent.com so I think we're ok. I found a page warning developers not to hide the URL as this app does and I've reported this as a security issue on the app's GitHub site.
    – Andrew M.
    Nov 4, 2016 at 2:57

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