SplashID Alternative: Migrating from SplashID to the STRIP password manager on Windows and Mac OS X

2012-03-20 11:57:10 -0400

Hot on the heels on of the Mac OS Splash ID migration script, we've now prepared an easy to use, graphical SplashID converter called Convert To Strip, for Mac OS X and Windows.

In case you missed it, ElcomSoft recently presented a paper demonstrating attacks on several popular Password Managers. One of the most critical flaws was identified in SplashID, where the researchers found that a global key was used to encrypt the master password, rendering it instantly recoverable.

This converter is intended to help users migrate all of ther sensitive data from a SplashID export file into STRIP, the password manager recognized at the same conference as the "most resilient to password cracking" and one of the only applications that properly implemented strong cryptography.

This process assumes that you have already downloaded and installed Strip.

Get STRIP Now »

Export the SplashID data

Launch SplashID Safe and login. Once the application is unlocked, go to the application menu, select Export, choose the first SplashID vID format, choose Export All Records, and un-check Export Attachments. You can keep the suggested name for the file, click on Where to select your Desktop, and then Save. When prompted, enter a blank password.

Convert SplashID Export

  • Download the STRIP Data converter onto your desktop and Unzip it. Double click the icon to run it.
  • Click "Source File" button and choose the Splash ID export file.
  • Click the Save As button and save strip.csv on the desktop.
  • Click "Run Conversion" to migrate the file to the Strip export format.

Convert to STRIP for Windows »

Convert to STRIP for OS X »

Verify Data (Optional)

There is now a 'strip.csv' file on your Desktop. You can open it in a spreadsheet editor to check its contents (e.g. OpenOffice.org, Numbers, Excel), or open it in a simple text editor. It's a good idea to check the data over for accuracy before importing it into STRIP.

Import into STRIP

Log into STRIP Desktop, go to the File menu, and select "Import...", and choose the strip.csv file on your Desktop. 

Once the import is complete you'll see all of your SplashID data right in Strip! Once you've checked that everything looks OK in strip you should delete the two plaintext import/export files (remember to empty your trash, or even better, securely delete them).

SQLCipher at the BlackHatEU ElcomSoft Presentation

2012-03-20 09:26:48 -0400

During the third day of the BlackHatEU conference, Andrey Belenko and Dmitry Sklyarov of ElcomSoft presented an analysis of iOS and Blackberry password managers entitled “Secure Password Managers” and “Military-Grade Encryption” on Smartphones: Oh, Really?. It was a complete analysis of 17 of the most popular password management programs showing that many password managers store data in an unencrypted format, "encrypted so poorly that they can be recovered instantly", or are susceptible to basic cracking techniques.

One of the apps reviewed in the paper was Zetetic's Strip Lite, which is backed entirely by SQLCipher. As such, the results of their findings hold true for all apps using SQLCipher. From the reports we've heard it was noted as the one exception that properly implemented strong cryptography, was "by far the most resilient app to password cracking", and the most secure app for iOS.

However, the paper includes some brute force cracking estimates that serve as an important reminder about the need to use a strong passphrase when encrypting data. Their estimates show clearly that given suitably fast GPUs it would be possible to brute force standard numeric PIN numbers due to their low entropy / small search space. 

This topic has been discussed exhaustively on the SQLCipher mailing list in the past, but the security of SQLCipher is highly dependent on the security of the key used. Even though we take great pains to increase the difficulty of brute force attacks using PBKDF2, and avoid dictionary / rainbow table attacks with the per database salt, these techniques can only be successful if a suitably strong key is chosen.

The original whitepaper contains all of the source information, and you can also read more about our initial thoughs on the analysis.

SplashID Alternative: Migrating from SplashID to the STRIP password manager on Mac OS X

2012-03-18 16:52:50 -0400

Update 3/21/2012: We've released a graphical tool for Windows and OS X called Convert to Strip since we published this article. It's for converting your SplashID (or 1Password) data to STRIP's CSV format, read about and download Convert To Strip here.

At BlackHatEU last week, ElcomSoft presented a paper where they demonstrated attacks on several popular Password Managers. One of the most critical flaws was identified in SplashID, a popular password manager for iOS. The researchers found that a global key was used to encrypt the master password, rendering it instantly recoverable. A working exploit has already been published.

In light of this critical problem, there has been some interest from prospective customers in migrating to STRIP, which was recognized at the same conference as the "most resilient to password cracking" and one of the only applications that properly implemented strong cryptography.

To help support migration of users from SplashID to Strip, we we developed this conversion script that can run through the SplashID file and create a CSV file that you can import into STRIP Desktop or the free StripSync helper app. The following example assumes some familiarity with the Terminal app for OS X, that the SplashID export file is named "SplashID Export.vid," and that it's in the same directory as the Ruby script.

Note: There is now a free conversion tool available for windows too!.

0. Download the script and save it to your Desktop

Download this zip file containing convert.rb and expand it. Copy the convert.rb file to your Desktop.

1. Export the SplashID data

Launch SplashID Safe and login. Once the application is unlocked, go to the File menu and select Export, then SplashID vID.

On the panel that appears (below) select Export all records, and un-check Export Attachments. Keep the suggested name for the file, click on Where to select your Desktop, and then Save. When prompted, enter a blank password.

2. Convert the data

Open the Terminal.app and enter the following commands:

    cd ~/Desktop
    ruby convertb.rb

You should see output similar to the following:

    $ ruby convert.rb
    Examining SplashID Export.vid...
    We've found 11 entries, composing output...
    Your file strip-import.csv is ready for import into STRIP!

3. Check the data

There is now a 'strip-import.csv' file on your Desktop. You can open it in a spreadsheet editor to check its contents (e.g. OpenOffice.org, Numbers, Excel), or open it in a simple text editor. It's always a good idea to check the data over before importing it into STRIP.

In my case, since I already had data in STRIP, I set the Category to "SplashID Data" in the spreadsheet for each row so that all the new entries would show up together in the next step.

4. Import the data into STRIP

Log into STRIP, go to the File menu, and select "Import...", and choose the strip-import.csv file on your Desktop.

Once you've checked that everything looks OK in strip you should delete the two plaintext import/export files and remember to securely empty your trash.

ElcomSoft's Password Manager Shakedown

2012-03-16 16:29:51 -0400

During the third day of the BlackHatEU conference, Andrey Belenko and Dmitry Sklyarov of ElcomSoft presented an impressive analysis of iOS and Blackberry password managers entitled “Secure Password Managers” and “Military-Grade Encryption” on Smartphones: Oh, Really?.

The results are shocking: of the 17 password management programs analyzed, they showed that most of the products, including many of today's most popular password managers, are either:

  • storing data in an unencrypted format, 
  • "encrypted so poorly that they can be recovered instantly"; or 
  • susceptible to basic cracking techniques (i.e. rainbow tables)

The sole exception in the study was our own password manager, Strip, backed by SQLCipher.

The presenters noted that Strip, using an encryption key derived through 4,000 iterations of PBKDF2-SHA1 was "by far the most resiliant app to password cracking" and appeared to be the only application that properly implemented strong cryptography. We're pleased that ElcomSoft found Strip to be a solid implementation, and that it was noted as the most secure App during the presentation.  

It's important to note, however, that the detailed cracking analysis found in their white paper provides an excellent demonstration of the need to use a secure master password. Given the enormous power of today's CPU and GPUs it is possible to attempt an attack on a weak passphrase, even though key derivation protects against rainbow tables and slows down brute force searches. ElcomSoft's estimations show that using a powerful GPU it would be possible to try every combination numeric passwords in a short period of time. 

Keeping that in mind, Strip's security really comes down to the security of your passphrase. Use a long alphanumeric passphrase with a combination of upper case, lowercase, digits, and metacharacters. For comparison, the calculations presented in the ElcomSoft paper yield that an 8 character random ASCII password for Strip and SQLCipher would take an estimated 1,315 years to crack.

If you're interested in reading more about the types of attacks and security issues with these sorts of application's please check out the excellent source presentation and whitepaper. Likewise, if you're interested in moving to a mobile password manager with a higher level of security than the rest, you should take a look at Strip.

Who's Resetting Passwords?

2012-03-15 11:55:35 -0400

Monitoring a large Active Directory and Windows environment with Zetetic Combine can turn up some interesting things... in this case we took a look at a Combine beta program participant's administrative password reset activity over the last few weeks.

It's a colorful chart, and a long one! Over 50 distinct support and administrative folks have been helping locked-out users around the globe. Of course, it's always good policy to make sure the people exercising these rights are doing so properly... all the more reason to implement good security log collection and analysis policies.

(The names have been obscured to protect the innocent, as well as the mostly-innocent.)