On Dec. 22, LastPass CEO Karim Toubba acknowledged in a blog post that a security incident the company first disclosed in August eventually paved the way for an “unauthorized party” to steal customer account information and sensitive vault data. The breach is the latest in a lengthy and troubling string of security incidents involving LastPass, which date back to 2011.
It’s also the most alarming.
The unauthorized party was able to gain access to unencrypted customer account information like LastPass usernames, company names, billing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and IP addresses, according to Toubba. That same unauthorized party was also able to steal customer vault data, which includes unencrypted data like website URLs as well as encrypted data like the usernames and passwords for all the sites that LastPass users have stored in their vaults.
If you’re a LastPass subscriber, the severity of this breach should have you looking for a different password manager, because your passwords and personal data are at serious risk of being exposed.
What should LastPass subscribers do?
The company didn’t specify how many users were affected by the breach, and LastPass didn’t respond to CNET’s request for additional comment on the breach. But if you’re a LastPass subscriber, you need to operate under the assumption that your user and vault data are in the hands of an unauthorized party with ill intentions. Though the most sensitive data is encrypted, the problem is that the threat actor can run “brute force” attacks on those stolen local files. LastPass estimates it would take “millions of years” to guess your master password — if you’ve followed its best practices.
If you haven’t — or if you just want total peace of mind — you’ll need to spend some serious time and effort changing your individual passwords. And while you’re doing that, you’ll probably want to transition away from LastPass, too.
With that in mind, here’s what you need to do right now if you’re a LastPass subscriber:
1. Find a new password manager. Given LastPass’ history with security incidents and considering the severity of this latest breach, now’s a better time than ever to seek an alternative.
2. Change your most important site-level passwords immediately. This includes passwords for anything like online banking, financial records, internal company logins and medical information. Make sure these new passwords are strong and unique.
3. Change every single one of your other online passwords. It’s a good idea to change your passwords in order of importance here too. Start with changing the passwords to accounts like email and social media profiles, then you can start moving backward to other accounts that may not be as critical.
4. Enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. Once you’ve changed your passwords, make sure to enable 2FA on any online account that offers it. This will give you an added layer of protection by alerting you and requiring you to authorize each login attempt. That means even if someone ends up obtaining your new password, they shouldn’t be able to gain access to a given site without your secondary authenticating device (typically your phone).
5. Change your master password. Though this doesn’t change the threat level to the stolen vaults, it’s still prudent to help mitigate the threats of any potential future attack — that is, if you decide you want to stay with LastPass.
Article and photo by: CNET: Product reviews, advice, how-tos and the latest news