New Vulnerability Found in Password Managers

Enterprise users that rely on password managers should be aware of a recently discovered vulnerability affecting a popular application.

Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy recently discovered a flaw in the Keeper password manager after a major browser extension, according to the Keeper Security blog. The company, which provides a password manager and digital vault for businesses and individuals, responded quickly to address the issue.

Discovering the Flaw

Ormandy discovered the vulnerability after he created a fresh installation of Windows 10 and noticed that the Keeper password manager was installed by default. The highly respected researcher reported a flaw in the same application last year and saw similar results on the new installation, SecurityWeek reported.

The bug affects Keeper browser extensions that are installed with the desktop application unless users opt out. Attackers can use the flaw to pilfer passwords saved by the app if they can persuade a valid user to access a malicious website.

In the blog post, Keeper CTO Craig Lurey noted that the flaw “fakes user input by using a malicious code injection technique to execute privileged code within the browser extension.”

Updating Password Managers

Keeper resolved the flaw and issued an automatic extension update to customers within 24 hours. The company also removed the “Add to Existing” flow feature to resolve the issues.

Edge, Chrome and Firefox users have already received the update through their web browsers. Customers using Safari can run a manual update by visiting Keeper’s download page.

According to Lurey, there are no reports of customers impacted by the bug. He also stated that mobile and desktop apps were unaffected and do not require an update.

News of this vulnerability should serve as a fresh reminder to IT managers about the importance of the technologies employees use to keep passwords and data secure.

Creating Strong Security Policies

Well-implemented and secure password managers can provide business benefits and simplify life for users. They eliminate the need for users to remember and type multiple passwords, and the tool will often autocomplete forms, allowing individuals to increase productivity and improve security.

Users still need to remember the password to access their management software. This can present issues, since the rules associated to consumer websites and enterprise systems often necessitate complex passwords that are changed regularly and include a broad range of characters. Fresh password guidelines released over the summer recommended using long, easy-to-remember phrases instead of words with special characters.

It is also worth noting that password managers are just one element of a strong technical approach to information security. Identity and access management solutions can help IT managers understand who is accessing which resources. These systems work with other security tools to detect anomalies, uncover threats and take remediation steps.

Mark Samuels

Tech Journalist

Mark Samuels is an experienced business technology journalist with an outstanding track record in research. He...