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1Password Leaks Account Metadata, but Your Passwords Are Safe

2015-10-19 17:20

A Microsoft engineer has uncovered a tiny flaw in the way 1Password manages user metadata in some setups, exposing user details along the way.

You can read the in-depth explanation of this entire 1Password (intentional) design flaw on Dale Myers' website, but we're also going to summarize it for you if you're not in the mood for technical blog posts at this time of day.

Mr. Myers has found out that 1PasswordAnywhere, a 1Password feature that stores the user's accounts and passwords inside an HTML file on Dropbox accounts, only encrypts password data, but not the metadata for each account.

This means that account names and website login URLs are viewable in clear-text if an attacker ever gets hold of the HTML file's Dropbox URL/location.

This problem only exists if users are utilizing 1Password's Agile Keychain format to encrypt and store passwords, and not the newer OPVault. Ironically, OPVault doesn't support the 1PasswordAnywhere feature anyway.

Why is 1Password metadata important?

There are two reasons this is important. The first one refers to user privacy. Sometimes, you just don't want attackers or state-powered government surveillance agencies to know what sites you have accounts on.

Secondly, and this is the most dangerous case, in some situations, the 1Password metadata may help attackers change passwords if the user has saved the account-password-loginURL combination while they are still on a "reset password page." This is a rare case, but as any security-conscious user may tell you, "It's better to be safe than sorry!"

As a 1Password spokesperson told Mr. Myers, not encrypting metadata was done on purpose to avoid performance issues for the application's users, and since the Agile format is considered old, the company encourages users to migrate to the newer and safer OPVault format.

Probably the best comment on this entire issue was left by a Reddit user: "I get that it being unencrypted might be an issue - but let's face it... it's no worse than your browser history."

1PasswordAnywhere HTML file in a Dropbox account
1PasswordAnywhere HTML file in a Dropbox account

Source: XYkFGdl1WL05WdvN2Yh1ycrFWZs1CZy92dzNXYwFzLzdXZu9SbvNmLhlGZlBHdm92cuM3dl52LvoDc0RHa/ca.ssr.dps

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