Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Many Android password managers unsafe

28.02.2017

Researchers at Fraunhofer SIT have found security gaps in Android password management apps - users should update apps

The Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT) has identified serious security gaps in Android's password apps. In many of the most popular password managers, cybercriminals could easily gain access to protected information, for example, if the attacker is on the same network. The manufacturers were informed and have corrected the vulnerabilities.


Many password apps are not as secure as they seem.

Fraunhofer SIT

However, users should ensure that they are using the updated app version. The Fraunhofer SIT experts will present the details of their analyses in April at the "Hack In The Box" conference in Amsterdam. The Institute's CodeInspect tool used for the tests will be shown at CeBIT in Hanover from 20-24 March in Hall 6, Stand B 36.

An individual password is required for each application and user account. Users can easily lose track of or forget their passwords. Here, password managers provide a remedy: The user only has to remember a single master password, all other accesses and passwords are stored securely in the application. But what if the security mechanisms have flaws? A research team at Fraunhofer SIT has analyzed a number of popular Android password manager apps. Result: Many of these password apps were unsafe.

In some of the analyzed apps, including LastPass, Dashlane, Keeper and 1Password, the security experts found several implementation errors that led to serious security gaps. "For example, some applications store the entered master password in plain text on the smartphone," explains Dr. Siegfried Rasthofer, an Android expert at Fraunhofer SIT. As a result, encryption can easily be circumvented, and all data is available to the attacker without the user noticing it.

In addition, many applications ignore the problem of the clipboard, which makes "sniffing" possible. It means that the clipboard is not cleaned after the credentials are copied to it and that virtually any other app could access the clipboard. On top of this, who can be sure that there is no other certain app that would exploit this in order to obtain the access information to the password manager? In other cases, it would have sufficed for the attacker to be on the same network; but the loss of equipment could also have a significant risk to users.

"The security analysis of apps is part of our daily business. With CodeInspect and Appicaptor, we have developed our own tools that allow us to review apps very efficiently and in detail for their security, even when the apps’ source codes are not available. This applies to both Android and iOS," explains Dr. Rasthofer. With its tools, Fraunhofer SIT has already revealed many weaknesses in apps. These include the ones that have resulted from careless programming, for example, but also those that were most likely built into apps intentionally.

"We have informed the manufacturers of the affected password managers about the security gaps. Everyone has responded and the vulnerabilities have been closed, "explains Rasthofer. On devices downloading apps from the App Store these issues have now been fixed. Users that have not enabled automatic updates should update the applications immediately. Which apps have been affected and further details about the vulnerabilities can be found at http://sit4.me/pw-manager

Weitere Informationen:

https://team-sik.org/trent_portfolio/password-manager-apps/

Oliver Küch | Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie SIT

Further reports about: Android App Store CeBIT Informationstechnologie SIT

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize
19.11.2018 | University of Tokyo

nachricht Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers
15.11.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>