LastPass is a freemium password management service that stores encrypted passwords in private accounts. LastPass is standard with a web interface, but additionally includes plugins for a large number of web browsers and apps for a large number of smartphones. It additionally includes support for bookmarklets.
LogMeIn, Inc. acquired LastPass in October 2015.
Overview and history
A user's content in LastPass, including passwords and secure notes, is protected by one master password. The content is synchronised to any device the user uses. Information is encrypted with "AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes", and encryption and decryption takes place at the device level. LastPass has a form filler that automates password entering and form filling, and it supports password generation, site sharing and site logging.
LastPass is available as an extension to a large number of web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Opera. LastPass has apps available for smartphones running the Android, iOS, or Windows Phone operating systems. The apps have offline functionality.
On December 2, 2010, it was announced that LastPass had acquired Xmarks, a web browser extension that enables password synchronisation between browsers. The acquisition meant the survival of Xmarks, which had financial troubles, and although the two services will be largely separate, the acquisition did mean a reduced price for paid premium subscriptions combining the two services.
On October 9, 2015, LastPass was acquired by LogMeIn, Inc. for $125 million; the company will be combined under the LastPass brand with a similar product, Meldium, which was additionally acquired by LogMeIn.
On February 3, 2016, LastPass unveiled a new logo. The previous logo, which prominently featured an asterisk, was the subject of an unanticipated trademark lawsuit filed in early 2015 by E-Trade, whose logo additionally features an asterisk.
On March 16, 2016, LastPass released LastPass Authenticator, a free two-factor authentication app.
On November 2, 2016, LastPass announced that free accounts would now support synchronising user content to any device, a feature previously exclusive to paid accounts. Earlier, a free account on the service meant it would only sync content to one app.
In March 2009, PC Magazine awarded LastPass five stars, an "Excellent" mark, and their "Editors' Choice" for password management. A new review in 2016 following the release of LastPass 4.0 earned the service again five stars, an "Outstanding" mark, and "Editors' Choice" honor.
In July 2010, LastPass's security model was extensively covered and approved of by Steve Gibson in his Security Now podcast episode 256. He additionally revisited the subject and how it relates to the National Security Agency in Security Now podcast episode 421.
In February 2011, a cross-site scripting (XSS) security vulnerability was discovered, reported by security researcher Mike Cardwell, and closed within hours.
There was disagreement over severity. Cardwell stated that users should be "very concerned." The company reported that a log search showed no evidence of exploitation (other than by Cardwell). Notwithstanding in addition to closing the hole, LastPass took additional steps to improve security, including implementing HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), as Cardwell had suggested, implementing X-Frame-Options, and a Content Security Policy-like system in order to provide defense in depth.
2011 security breach
On Tuesday, May 3, 2011, LastPass discovered an anomaly in their incoming network traffic, and then another, similar anomaly in their outgoing traffic. Administrators found none of the hallmarks of a classic security breach (for example, database logs showed no evidence of a non-administrator user being elevated to administrator privileges), but neither could they determine the root cause of the anomalies. Furthermore, given the size of the anomalies, it is theoretically possible that data such as email addresses, the server salt, and the salted password hashes were copied from the LastPass database. To address the situation, LastPass decommissioned the "breached" servers so they can be rebuilt, and on May 4, 2011, they requested all users to change their master password. Notwithstanding the resulting user traffic overwhelmed the login servers and, temporarily, administrators were asking users to refrain from changing their passwords until further notice, having judged that the possibility of the passwords themselves being compromised was trivially small. LastPass additionally stated that while there was no direct evidence any customer information was directly compromised, they preferred to err on the side of caution.
2015 security breach
On Monday, June 15, 2015, LastPass posted a blog post indicating that the LastPass team discovered and blocked suspicious activity on their network on the previous Friday. Their investigation revealed that LastPass account email addresses, password reminders, server per user salts, and authentication hashes were compromised. LastPass encrypted user vault data weren't taken in this incident. The blogpost was quoted as saying, "We are confident that our encryption measures are sufficient to protect the vast majority of users. LastPass strengthens the authentication hash with a random salt and 100,000 rounds of server-side PBKDF2-SHA256, in addition to the rounds performed client-side. This additional strengthening makes it difficult to attack the stolen hashes with any significant speed."
In July 2016, a blog post published by independent online security firm Detectify detailed a method for reading plaintext passwords for arbitrary domains from a LastPass user's vault when that user visited a malicious web site. This vulnerability was made possible by poorly written URL parsing code in the LastPass extension. The flaw wasn't disclosed publicly by Detectify until LastPass was notified privately and able to fix their browser extension. LastPass responded to the public disclosure by Detectify in a post on their own blog, in which they revealed knowledge of an additional vulnerability, discovered by a member of the Google Security Team, and already fixed by LastPass.