Slack introduced a bug on 21st December 2020 that caused their android app to store user passwords in plain text on their local storage.
Slack communicated users to change their Slack passwords as well as to clear the Slack app data on android devices. The affected users’ passwords have been invalidated and they will be asked to set new passwords the next time they try to login.
Details shared by Slack
The problem occurred due to a bug introduced between December 21st and January 21st. Slack informed the Verge that the issue has now been resolved.
In their Email to the affected users, they have a few instructions for users to secure themselves:
If you are an Android user then you need to change your password urgently
Your password might be saved in your local storage in a plain text format.
Clear the app data for Slack from the android device.
The problem with storing your passwords in plain text on the local storage is, other apps on the phone can potentially read those passwords directly. A malicious app on the phone can exfiltrate passwords which can be used to login to the affected app or other apps on which the user has re-used the password.
If you have used your slack credentials on any other platform, reset them immediately. If you have saved your slack password with Google, you can check it with Chrome’s Built in password check-up tool. Slack has also mentioned that users authenticating with SSO or Social Logins may not have affected by the bug.
The Password Problem
Its a basic practice or Information Security 101 to securely (SALT & HASH) store passwords. This is not the first time when a reputed global company is seen not adhering to this basic practice. Right from Facebook, Twitter, Social Captain (Instagram 3rd party service) has history of storing passwords in plain text. In 2019 Robinhood made headlines for storing passwords in plain text in their internal systems.
Go Passwordless!!! Adopting passwordless authentication eliminates the risk of password exposure due to insecure storage. An enterprise can also protect its users from password leaks and other phishing attacks without the need of additional 2FA/MFA or password managers.
Going passwordless drastically reduces enterprises attack surface, risk exposure and cost of authentication.
Connect with us to know how our PureAUTH platform integrates with Slack as well as other SAML enabled applications and makes an enterprise more secure and resilient.
In this blog, we are going to discuss one of the many (and we mean MANY) use cases of our passwordless authentication platform – PureAuth.
We are working with a number of organisations that use AWS services. For contingency and serviceability reasons, the organisations share the access to AWS console with multiple admins. However, this is posing a big governance and compliance issue along with the conventional risks of shared accounts.
Problems with Shared accounts
Shared accounts have been a widely accepted practice to assure serviceability. This convenience comes with a compromise on security and compliance.
TL;DR Proper coordination is needed to change passwords periodically or on adhoc basis and every time an admin is moving in or out.
Sharing a secret with multiple people increases the risk of (accidental) leakage of the information and conventional approach to secure password with additional factor (MFA/2FA or OTP) fails for a shared account.
A simple SAML 2.0 integration of PureAUTH with AWS Console makes shared access passwordless and secure. PureAUTH helps govern shared accounts better by maintaining strict mapping and accountability of each authentication instance. Our robust user on-boarding process allows an enterprise fine grain control to audit, manage and revoke access of their users as needed.
SAML Integration with PureAuth (behind the scene)
PureAUTH provides Proof-of-Association based authentication to any application over simple SAML 2.0 integration. We use the same interface to make AWS console login passwordless.
Our Patented Proof-of-Association based authentication assures better accountability and attribution even for shared accounts.
Authorization & Roles restriction
AWS lets’ users choose their role at the time of login. PureAUTH also provides an optional facility to preselect the roles based on the entitlement of the user.
The video below demonstrates passwordless access to AWS Console with PureAUTH platform. Here you can see a user getting authenticated to AWS Console with his valid profile contained in VR5 app on his phone.
Going passwordless reduces risk and helps you to better comply & govern access to your crown jewels.