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Safety and Privateness
In latest weeks, information of a safety breach in LastPass has gone from dangerous to worse to horrible.
LastPass develops a well-liked password supervisor app of the identical title. Information outlet BleepingComputer grew to become conscious in August 2022 that LastPass had suffered a safety breach. Subsequent updates to LastPass have revealed new data as the corporate’s investigation into the breach continues.
Beneath is a timeline of occasions and every little thing we all know up to now concerning the LastPass breach. We’ll additionally focus on how this impacts current LastPass customers and whether or not it is nonetheless secure to make use of LastPass.
On this article:
timeline of occasions
- early/mid August 2022 – LastPass was hacked; BleepingComputer learns of the breach from “insiders”
- August 21, 2022 – BleepingComputer contacts LastPass about alleged violation, receives no response
- August 25, 2022 – LastPass Posts Discover, Claims Hackers Accessed “Proprietary Technical…Data” By way of Compromised LastPass Developer Account; non-compliance with claims was contained
- November 30, 2022 – LastPass evaluations assertion, says “sure parts of…buyer data” have additionally been accessed.
- December 22, 2022 – LastPass revisits the assertion, detailing that delicate buyer information has been accessed, together with backups of buyer vaults containing encrypted and unencrypted information
- December 26, 2022 – Wladimir Palant exposes deceptive claims in December 22 LastPass assertion
- December 28, 2022 – 1Password claims that, in principle, most LastPass vaults could possibly be cracked with simply $100 of computing energy
What we all know up to now concerning the LastPass breach
A know-how information website, BleepingComputer, in mid-August 2022 he learned from “insiders” that LastPass, a prominent password management company, had allegedly been breached. BleepingComputer contacted LastPass on August 21 but received no response.
On August 25, LastPass posted its opening statement about the breach on the company’s blog. LastPass claimed that the breach was limited to its development environment and that no customer information or user password vault data had been compromised. However, the company said it had “hired a leading cybersecurity and forensics firm” and that its investigation was ongoing.
Just over two months later, and about a week after the US Thanksgiving holiday, LastPass released an updated statement on the breach on November 30. LastPass claimed that the company “recently detected unusual activity within a third-party cloud storage service” shared by LastPass and its affiliate GoTo. The company “hired Mandiant, a leading security company, and alerted law enforcement.” This order of events seems to suggest that by “recently detected”, LastPass meant “unusual activity” that took place in August. LastPass further claimed that an unauthorized party had accessed “certain elements of our customers’ information.”
the plot thickens
Three weeks and one day after that, LastPass launched another updated statement on December 22. This is where things start to get a lot more interesting.
Allegedly, the “source code and technical information” that an attacker had accessed in his development environment “was used to target another employee, obtaining credentials and keys that were used to access and decrypt some storage volumes within the service.” cloud-based storage.
At this point, LastPass admitted that “certain elements” of customer information, which the company had alluded to in November, included “customer account information and related metadata,” such as:
- end user names (presumably means the real, full names of the users)
- company names
- billing addresses
- telephone numbers
- the IP addresses from which customers accessed the LastPass service
Such a customer data breach is quite significant. This information could easily be used by an attacker to phish LastPass users and trick them into revealing their data vault password.
But the loss of customers’ personally identifiable information was not necessarily the most concerning issue.
“The threat actor was also able to copy a backup copy of the data from the customer’s vault,” LastPass continued. In the company’s proprietary data format, Vault Data includes “both unencrypted data, such as website URLs,” and encrypted fields, “such as website usernames and passwords, secure notes, and data populated in forms”.
Thus, the attacker can not only easily spoof the victims’ LastPass vault password, but can also see all the sites for which the victim has stored a password and also spoof the usernames and passwords of those individual sites.
External experts (and competitors) have their say
Wladimir Palant, a security researcher best known as the original developer of Adblock Plus, has also developed his own free password manager: PfP: Passwords without pain. Palant had a lot to say about LastPass’s statements, claiming they were “full of omissions, half-truths, and outright lies.” It goes into a lot of technical detail that we won’t repeat here. But an interesting observation is that LastPass’ implementation of a password-strengthening algorithm is no longer considered strong by OWASP standards (and hasn’t been since mid-March 2021, I found out; this appears to be based on FIPS 140-3 , US Government standards last updated March 2019).
But even worse, many LastPass users’ vaults still use horribly outdated implementations. To give an idea of scale without getting too technical, the current standard is 310,000 hash iterations; newly created LastPass vaults since sometime in 2018 have used 100,100 iterations; but Palant learned that old LastPass vaults that have never been updated since 2018 use 5000 and even 500 iterations. Palant is even aware of “one confirmed case” of a vault using only 1 iteration.
In other words, the vaults of many longtime LastPass users could easily have been cracked by now.
That sentiment is shared by another LastPass competitor, 1Password (which admits it still uses 100,000 hashing iterations, negligibly less than LastPass). In a December 26 blog post, 1Password claimed that just $100 or less of rented computing power would be enough to crack the master password of many LastPass vaults using 100,100 iterations.
This is a far cry from the “millions of years” that the LastPass blog post claims it would take to break into a LastPass vault.
Is it still safe to use LastPass?
What can current LastPass users do?
At this point, LastPass users should assume that an attacker may have accessed any password or other information stored in their LastPass account. Therefore:
- LastPass users should immediately begin the process of migrating to a different password manager.
- After migrating to a new password manager, former LastPass users must change your passwords for all services that had been stored in your LastPass vault.
Of course, LastPass will have you believe that such action is not necessary. But after reading the information above, he can decide for himself.
Choosing a new password manager can be challenging; it’s hard to know for sure if similar incidents could occur with many LastPass competitors. We recommend choosing a password manager that has a strong reputation. If you only need to store passwords and don’t use a password manager to store other information, Apple iCloud Keychain can be a good free option for anyone who already uses Apple devices. If you need a password manager with more features, check out some of the options listed in our article, Choosing the Right Password Manager for You.
How to choose the right password manager for you
How can I learn more?
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About Joshua Lengthy
joshua lengthy (@joshmeister), Intego’s Chief Safety Analyst, is a famend safety researcher, author, and public speaker. Josh has a Grasp’s diploma in IT with a focus in Web Safety and has taken PhD degree programs in Data Safety. Apple has publicly acknowledged Josh for locating an Apple ID authentication vulnerability. Josh has performed cybersecurity analysis for over 20 years, which has typically been featured in mainstream media world wide. Search for extra articles from Josh at safety.thejoshmeister.com and observe him on Twitter. See all posts by Joshua Lengthy →
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