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Dean boosted

I've been seeing discourse again about the real/supposed ableism of transit and walkability advocacy, and I am once again frustrated by the incredible car-centricity of it.

I am disabled in ways that can limit access to walking-oriented spaces, but I've also never been a driver. When people talk about the difficulties of managing an invisible disability on public transit, I nod my head hard -- but so often this turns into a subtext/text of "we still need to privilege cars."

That... loses me.

Dean boosted

I recently wrote a post detailing the recent #LastPass breach from a #password cracker's perspective, and for the most part it was well-received and widely boosted. However, a good number of people questioned why I recommend ditching LastPass and expressed concern with me recommending people jump ship simply because they suffered a breach. Even more are questioning why I recommend #Bitwarden and #1Password, what advantages they hold over LastPass, and why would I dare recommend yet another cloud-based password manager (because obviously the problem is the entire #cloud, not a particular company.)

So, here are my responses to all of these concerns!

Let me start by saying I used to support LastPass. I recommended it for years and defended it publicly in the media. If you search Google for "jeremi gosney" + "lastpass" you'll find hundreds of articles where I've defended and/or pimped LastPass (including in Consumer Reports magazine). I defended it even in the face of vulnerabilities and breaches, because it had superior UX and still seemed like the best option for the masses despite its glaring flaws. And it still has a somewhat special place in my heart, being the password manager that actually turned me on to password managers. It set the bar for what I required from a password manager, and for a while it was unrivaled.

But things change, and in recent years I found myself unable to defend LastPass. I can't recall if there was a particular straw that broke the camel's back, but I do know that I stopped recommending it in 2017 and fully migrated away from it in 2019. Below is an unordered list of the reasons why I lost all faith in LastPass:

- LastPass's claim of "zero knowledge" is a bald-faced lie. They have about as much knowledge as a password manager can possibly get away with. Every time you login to a site, an event is generated and sent to LastPass for the sole purpose of tracking what sites you are logging into. You can disable telemetry, except disabling it doesn't do anything - it still phones home to LastPass every time you authenticate somewhere. Moreover, nearly everything in your LastPass vault is unencrypted. I think most people envision their vault as a sort of encrypted database where the entire file is protected, but no -- with LastPass, your vault is a plaintext file and only a few select fields are encrypted. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass uses shit #encryption (or "encraption", as @sc00bz calls it). Padding oracle vulnerabilities, use of ECB mode (leaks information about password length and which passwords in the vault are similar/the same. recently switched to unauthenticated CBC, which isn't much better, plus old entries will still be encrypted with ECB mode), vault key uses AES256 but key is derived from only 128 bits of entropy, encryption key leaked through webui, silent KDF downgrade, KDF hash leaked in log files, they even roll their own version of AES - they essentially commit every "crypto 101" sin. All of these are trivial to identify (and fix!) by anyone with even basic familiarity with cryptography, and it's frankly appalling that an alleged security company whose product hinges on cryptography would have such glaring errors. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass has terrible secrets management. Your vault encryption key always resident in memory and never wiped, and not only that, but the entire vault is decrypted once and stored entirely in memory. If that wasn't enough, the vault recovery key and dOTP are stored on each device in plain text and can be read without root/admin access, rendering the master password rather useless. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass's browser extensions are garbage. Just pure, unadulterated garbage. Tavis Ormandy went on a hunting spree a few years back and found just about every possible bug -- including credential theft and RCE -- present in LastPass's browser extensions. They also render your browser's sandbox mostly ineffective. Again, for an alleged security company, the sheer amount of high and critical severity bugs was beyond unconscionable. All easy to identify, all easy to fix. Their presence can only be explained by apathy and negligence. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass's API is also garbage. Server-can-attack-client vulns (server can request encryption key from the client, server can instruct client to inject any javascript it wants on every web page, including code to steal plaintext credentials), JWT issues, HTTP verb confusion, account recovery links can be easily forged, the list goes on. Most of these are possibly low-risk, except in the event that LastPass loses control of its servers. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass has suffered 7 major #security breaches (malicious actors active on the internal network) in the last 10 years. I don't know what the threshold of "number of major breaches users should tolerate before they lose all faith in the service" is, but surely it's less than 7. So all those "this is only an issue if LastPass loses control of its servers" vulns are actually pretty damn plausible. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass has a history of ignoring security researchers and vuln reports, and does not participate in the infosec community nor the password cracking community. Vuln reports go unacknowledged and unresolved for months, if not years, if not ever. For a while, they even had an incorrect contact listed for their security team. Bugcrowd fields vulns for them now, and most if not all vuln reports are handled directly by Bugcrowd and not by LastPass. If you try to report a vulnerability to LastPass support, they will pretend they do not understand and will not escalate your ticket to the security team. Now, Tavis Ormandy has praised LastPass for their rapid response to vuln reports, but I have a feeling this is simply because it's Tavis / Project Zero reporting them as this is not the experience that most researchers have had.

You see, I'm not simply recommending that users bail on LastPass because of this latest breach. I'm recommending you run as far way as possible from LastPass due to its long history of incompetence, apathy, and negligence. It's abundantly clear that they do not care about their own security, and much less about your security.

So, why do I recommend Bitwarden and 1Password? It's quite simple:

- I personally know the people who architect 1Password and I can attest that not only are they extremely competent and very talented, but they also actively engage with the password cracking community and have a deep, *deep* desire to do everything in the most correct manner possible. Do they still get some things wrong? Sure. But they strive for continuous improvement and sincerely care about security.

- Bitwarden is 100% open source. I have not done a thorough code review, but I have taken a fairly long glance at the code and I am mostly pleased with what I've seen. I'm less thrilled about it being written in a garbage collected language and there are some tradeoffs that are made there, but overall Bitwarden is a solid product. I also prefer Bitwarden's UX. I've also considered crowdfunding a formal audit of Bitwarden, much in the way the Open Crypto Audit Project raised the funds to properly audit TrueCrypt. The community would greatly benefit from this.

Is the cloud the problem? No. The vast majority of issues LastPass has had have nothing to do with the fact that it is a cloud-based solution. Further, consider the fact that the threat model for a cloud-based password management solution should *start* with the vault being compromised. In fact, if password management is done correctly, I should be able to host my vault anywhere, even openly downloadable (open S3 bucket, unauthenticated HTTPS, etc.) without concern. I wouldn't do that, of course, but the point is the vault should be just that -- a vault, not a lockbox.

I hope this clarifies things! As always, if you found this useful, please boost for reach and give me a follow for more password insights!

Dean boosted

You may have read about an entity called "The Social Coop Ltd" acquiring several popular Mastodon instances. This entity has no relation whatsoever to Due to the risk of confusion, we have reached out to them to discuss the situation.

We ( are a co-operatively run Mastodon instance that was founded in 2017. Read more about us here:

Dean boosted

After the report about the Girl Scout mom getting booted from Radio City Music Hall, I spent the last two days reporting out the use of facial recognition technology by the Madison Square Garden empire to keep hundreds of lawyers that work for firms that have sued it from attending concerts, sporting events and shows. It is a radical use of the technology by a private company and I am truly shocked by how forthright MSG is about its real-world block list.

Dean boosted

Are folks really pressuring independent artists, authors, etc., not to promote their work here?

Do you also picket your local independent cafe and mom and pop stores? What happens if you succeed in shutting them down? That’s right, you end up with a McDonald’s in their place.

Please learn to separate capitalists from folks trying to survive under capitalism. Independent people trying to pay their rent isn’t advertising, it’s existing. What Coca-Cola does is advertising.

#fediverse ❤️ #indie

Dean boosted

Feel free to boost this poll, but I'm wondering how many people do where they respond to a notification by using win+shift+V on the PC or holding on it on the phone, and taking action on it that way, is this more just a thing that sighted people do? Most of my friends don't do this but I hear a lot of people on YouTube doing this.

Dean boosted
Dean boosted
Dean boosted

How the Grinch Stole the Fediverse parody. Long serial thread, updated daily. 

Dean boosted

In case you don’t believe the same equations govern #motion in the #atmosphere and the #ocean.

Video by Tristan Heth in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Ready for ! I'm playing a shaker with the Sambanistas and we are group 99 just behind the volunteers of .

Dean boosted

Remember how IBM Watson, the computer that beat a human in Jeopardy!, was supposed to revolutionize medicine? Did you know it is being sold off for parts?

“If you think about it… the notion that you’re going to take an artificial intelligence tool, expose it to data on patients who were cared for on the upper east side of Manhattan, and then use that information and the insights derived from it to treat patients in China, is ridiculous.”

From Slate article:

Dean boosted

Are you new here? New being defined as shorter than 2 months. Today is Nov 6.
I am interested to see how far the fedi reaches.

Please boost. #askfedi #new #poll #toot

Dean boosted

@Sheril Alt text: Image of hourglass:

Each grain of sand in this visualization
represents 10 million people.

[Top of hourglass] 140 million children are born every year. 14 grains of sand enter the hourglass.

You are here. These 795 grains represent the 7.95 billion people who are alive today.

[Bottom of hourglass] 60 million people die every year. 6 grains of sand pass through the hourglass.

About 109 billion people have lived and died. 10.900 grains of sand.


Dean boosted

From Twitter, this is just so sparkly and nice: Retweeting Ricky (rickhanlonii): If ur happy and u know it, git commit
If ur happy and u know it, git commit
If ur happy and u know it
let your team see when they pull it
If ur happy and u know it, git commit

Dean boosted

Want to learn facts, numbers & arguments that show the urgency of reducing flights and how to use new narratives to get your peers to #StayGrounded?
Join our free communication training ➡️

Dean boosted


More new signage in the largest bike parking in the world. At the entrances it is now indicated which lane to choose for which floor and there are signs for merging traffic and the exits. And to make sure what kind of parking it is, they even painted bicycles on the floor 🤣🤣

Dean boosted

#ScientistRebellion has published an open letter on the implausibility of maintaining average global temperatures below 1.5°C of warming given our current trajectories (heading for more than +3°C).

If this letter gathers more than 500 signatories from the scientific community, it will be "placed by Scientist Rebellion in a journal or mainstream news outlet ahead of COP27."

Help raise awareness about the gravity of the situation.

#climate #academia #globalWarming

Apple is now going to be selling your data through a rebooted Apple Ads 😔

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