LastPass hack fear leads to password reset

Company worried by 'network anomaly'

The boast by LastPass that its browser login tool "is the last password you'll ever need" has turned hollow with the news that its entire customer base will have to reset their master password after the company detected a possible attack on its database.

The company said it had noticed a "network traffic anomaly" on 3 May which corresponded to an unusual the movement of data from one of its databases and had decided to "assume the worst" and inform LastPass users of the danger.

"We know roughly the amount of data transferred and that it's big enough to have transferred people's email addresses, the server salt and their salted password hashes from the database," the company said in a blog. "We also know that the amount of data taken isn't remotely enough to have pulled many users."

Because the password database is encrypted, hackers would need to launch a dictionary attack on the stolen data in order to make it usable, which would put users logging in with shorter or easily-guessed passwords at high risk. Anyone using a longer, complex password would be safe.

"Unfortunately not everyone picks a master password that's immune to brute forcing," the company said.

To avoid the possibility of impersonation, the company will only the master password to be reset after first verifying the email address and noting whether users access the service from known IP addresses.

By its nature - LastPass is a browser-accessed password database for multiple websites - the service's users are hugely vulnerable should a compromise of the service occur. A hacker cracking a LastPass password could use it to log in to dozens of third-party websites.

Against that has to be set the huge insecurity of logging into multiple websites separately, possibly using the same insecure passwords. LastPass includes tools to automatically generate secure passwords and even analyse and rank the security of the ones already in use.

LastPass said it now planned to speed a planned migration to the more database encryption scheme, PBKDF2, a key-stretching mechanism designed to protect against dictionary hacking.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityPersonal Tech

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E Dunn

Techworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?