How is your LastPass vault stored on the LP server?

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tlmcca

Member
Jan 15, 2023
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I'm hesitating to move on from LP and have been trying to gather as much information as possible so I make a fully informed decision. I just listened again to Security Now episode 256 in which Steve explains how LP works. Unless I missed something or something has changed in LP's architecture since the episode aired, what LP stores is the vault blob encrypted on the client not what we see following Steve's instructions for getting the input to the PowerShell script. If that is indeed what is on LP's server then isn't it the case that the backup vaults cannot be decrypted without knowing the user's master password?

I'd appreciate anyone's input on this.

Thanks,
Terry
 
Yes, that is the case as I understand it, the issue is though that some users have had iterations set to 5000 or even 1 - and that makes brute force on the encrypted blob a big issue. Even if you have a very strong password.

What I've done is:
- Checked Account Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Password Iterations: Here I checked what my iterations was set to at the time the breach.
- Changed the iterations for future security. Steve talked about above 1 million but that gave me some issues in Brave. Vault wouldn't show and had to chose something lower by accessing via the website.
- Checked my vault password via Steve's Haystack page: https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm

... and now just waiting patiently for LP to release more specific information about the breach.
 
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The data is edited by a client, and then sent to the server for storage. A client can also be the Javascript code running on the LastPass web page when you log in there. The actual data format appears to be a form of IFF, as described here: https://github.com/cfbao/lastpass-vault-parser/blob/master/lastpass-vault-format.md

The command used get the XML data is basically giving the LastPass site your password, and then asking it to use it to do a data transformation from binary to XML.
 
@tlmcca Check out these two threads that are ongoing on the forum.



Also check out SN 904 and SN 905. @Steve may cover more in the next episode. Don't know about that yet. There might be other threads on the forum you can find with the search engine by searching for lastpass.

I checked my password on the password haystacks page by putting in something with similar structure to the password I had before I found out about the breach, ie same number of upper case, lower case, digits, and symbols. It said a cracking array trying 100 trillion guesses per second would take several billion trillion trillion centuries to crack my password, ON AVERAGE. Since that password has words in it, ie grammatical structure, the haystack page is overly optimistic. Still, I personally am not leaving Lastpass at this time and I'm not changing the passwords on my sites. If the hackers DID crack the blob, they'd get my secret notes and there's nothing I can do about it. I certainly don't like it that my metadata and the blob are in enemy hands, but the whole point of all the encryption is to prevent them from being able to crack it.

I will point out one thing though, somebody just won a billion dollar lottery. That event was highly unlikely. But they did. So, unlikely things CAN happen. But, with my particular password, I think the risk is vanishingly small. Everyone has to make their own decision about what to do with their situation.

@CredulousDane I now have my iteration count over 1 million and I'm using Brave. It may take as much as a minute to decrypt the vault, but it is working.

I don't know what else LP can release after their blog post. I don't think they're publicly going to list which accounts were breached. I'm assuming it applies to all customers. If not, they should email each customer as to their status. As I understand it (and correct me if I'm wrong), an employee was phished (goes to show we're all human), a bunch of metadata and a blob backup was stolen. If you had a weak password and / or excessively low iteration count your data could be at risk. Note that, as I understand it, even with a low iteration count, a good enough password still gives you all the protection you need. The key word being "enough" which is subjective. They say, if you've been abiding by their recommendations, you've got nothing to worry about. Here's a quote from their blog.


"If you use the default settings above, it would take millions of years to guess your master password using generally-available password-cracking technology. Your sensitive vault data, such as usernames and passwords, secure notes, attachments, and form-fill fields, remain safely encrypted based on LastPass’ Zero Knowledge architecture. There are no recommended actions that you need to take at this time.

However, it is important to note that if your master password does not make use of the defaults above, then it would significantly reduce the number of attempts needed to guess it correctly. In this case, as an extra security measure, you should consider minimizing risk by changing passwords of websites you have stored."

Hope this is helpful.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 
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Thanks to all who have responded so far. Each reply has added to my list of considerations.

Ron: I have watched 904 & 905 which prompted me to go back and watch 265 again. I look forward to what Steve will have to say going forward.

If Steve is reading this post I'd love to hear him address whether the LastPass server has access to the user's PDKDF2 iteration value and if so do we know whether it is exposed.

FWIW here is what I've done:
  • Changed my master password
  • Checked the new password in Haystacks (length 48, search space depth 95)
    • 2.74 hundred billion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion centuries
  • Changed passwords for sites that I deem to be critical
  • Changed my iteration value to a random number between 2 and 3 million
  • Exported my vault as CSV, encrypted it and stored on a thumb drive
  • Added an item to my calendar to refresh the CSV file weekly
The CSV file is insurance for the possibility that LP disappears.

As it stands now I plan to stay with LP until something is disclosed about the incident that pushes me out of my comfort zone.

Terry
 
Public service announcement for Lastpass users. My LP extension is working fine in Brave and Firefox. However, ALL the extension settings were apparently reset in both browsers including things like whether I want auto fill, auto logoff, whether to fill addresses, whether to fill credit cards, etc. So, check your extension settings to make sure they haven't changed. You may be surprised what they're set to, and they may not be what you want or set before. It also keeps wanting to give me a tour of my vault and I keep saying never. This is very poor update management in my opinion.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 
My LP extension is working fine in Brave and Firefox. However, ALL the extension settings were apparently reset in both browsers including things like whether I want auto fill, auto logoff, whether to fill addresses, whether to fill credit cards, etc.
I checked a few of my accounts and nothing appears to have changed. Running the extension in Chrome on Linux.

Terry
 
  • Exported my vault as CSV, encrypted it and stored on a thumb drive
  • Added an item to my calendar to refresh the CSV file weekly
The CSV file is insurance for the possibility that LP disappears.

As it stands now I plan to stay with LP until something is disclosed about the incident that pushes me out of my comfort zone.

Great idea :)

During the last couple of weeks I've actually created a Bitwarden account twice, as considering a move there, simply to decide to stay with LP and delete BW.

But will consider doing as you instead, having it at home and 'offline'.

IF LastPass is coming to an end I would hope and believe that they would put an ending date to their services and not just cut the power, leaving almost everyone with no access to their vaults - but alright, better safe than sorry ;)
 

In response to the situation, GoTo is resetting Central and Pro passwords for impacted customers and automatically migrates accounts to GoTo's enhanced Identity Management Platform.

This platform provides additional security controls that make unauthorized account access or takeover much more challenging.

GoTo has published an update to the incident saying that it is contacting affected customers directly to offer more details and recommendations for actionable steps to increase the security of their accounts.

New information - they contact affected customers directly!

Also: Our investigation to date has determined that a threat actor exfiltrated encrypted backups from a third-party cloud storage service related to the following products: Central, Pro, join.me, Hamachi, and RemotelyAnywhere.
 
Sounds like nothing new with regard to the LP data loss but really bad news for the other named platforms.
 
Sounds like nothing new with regard to the LP data loss but really bad news for the other named platforms.
Maybe I'm wrong but why don't they mention LastPass in that sentence? I know it's been written many times that the data extracted was LastPass vault data but maybe this article is just to specify further damages / affected products. And maybe the 'contacting affected customers' is only for those products. Not LP vault customers. Who knows ;)