Problems with Password Manager Phone Apps

If you use a password manager app on your smartphone, it may be vulnerable to package name spoofing, which would allow the password manager’s autofill feature to enter your login credentials on a spoofed web form.  This vulnerability applies to popular apps from LastPass, Dashlane, Keeper, and 1Password.

I have been an advocate for password managers.  They are part of the solution to creating long (20 characters?) random passwords that are unique to hundreds of sites and services.  I use LastPass myself.  The good news:  when you use your password manager from computer on a web browser, when a site is visited for the first time the password manager creates an association between its domain (verified by its digital certificate) and the credentials used to access it.

But the phone apps use a different association method that is not as strong, and can be circumvented through a spoofing attack.   This exploit takes advantage of the auto-fill feature to steal your credentials.  Personally, I have never set up the phone app because I had security concerns.  It is too easy to lose a phone, too easy to hijack the phone contents through a Bluejacking or BlueBorne attack.  Turns out my paranoia was well-founded.

The researchers who discovered this flaw reported it to the password manager developers, and solutions are in the works.  For now the easiest work-around is simply to disable the auto-fill function on your password manager app, or be more vigilant about the places you are logging into.  In any event, I recommend you continue to use your password manager app, as it is a better solution than reusing weak, memorized passwords.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Serving small business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area since 2001. Cybersecurity and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. I hold several cybersecurity certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Advanced Security Pratitioner (CASP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Other computer industry certifications include A+, Network+ and Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of security on their computers, networks, and websites. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. I am a frequent speakers at cybersecurity conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference, the (ISC)2 World Congress, and the ISSA International Conference, and many local community organizations, Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2008.

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