Introducing the 1Password App Extension for iOS 8 apps

Throughout history, the greats have always sought a “holy grail.” The Dude really wanted that new rug. Indiana Jones searched for… well, the Holy Grail. Today, we’re happy to say we built our holy grail: automatic 1Password Logins right in iOS 8 apps.

The video embedded here, produced by our fearless co-founder Dave Teare, speaks for itself. Thanks to Apple’s incredible new developer features in iOS 8, third-party apps can let 1Password fill Logins without the user ever leaving the app. Yep, complete with Touch ID for unlocking the vault. Yep, it’s this awesome.

How easy is it for third-party apps to get in on this one-tap Login goodness? Extremely! Developers: check out our 1Password App Extension on GitHub with documentation and sample code.

App users: reach out to the developers of your favorite apps and help us spread the word! Show them the video and link this blog post and our GitHub project.

We want to share our holy grail with all apps: the convenience of one-tap Logins and the security of strong, unique passwords with 1Password.

1Password 4.1 for Android is coming, we extended the freemium date and have a price!

1Pa premium featuresOver the past six weeks, we’ve seen a tremendous response to the all-new 1Password 4 for Android and our free trial experiment. Our team has been hard at work on a number of updates and great new features, and today we’re happy to say that v4.1 is coming soon, we extended the trial date, and we can now announce a price!

v4.1 for Android

Coming soon, 1Password 4.1 for Android will allow new users to create their first vault right on the device, no existing sync or vault required.

We added localizations for German, Spanish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, and Swedish. We are also finishing up translations into Chinese, Japanese, French, and Italian. Finally, we added some fixes and improvements that lay the groundwork for goodies that are on their way.

Free trial deadline extended, and a price!

Since our experiment is going so well, we extended the final day through Monday, August 18. Now everyone can have a few more weeks to check out 1Password 4 for Android and all its security awesomesauce.

On Tuesday, August 19, our Android version will switch to a freemium model. You can download it for free and use it as a 1Password reader, a great sync companion with 1Password for Mac or Windows, so you can take all your items on the go. To unlock all editing, organizing, and creating features, make a one-time, in-app purchase of just $9.99 USD to get the full power of 1Password right in your hands.

But wait there’s more

Since we’re just that excited about 1Password 4 for Android, we’ll start this off on August 19 with a $7.99 USD Awesome Android Launch Sale! This 20-percent-off sale will run for just two weeks, so when the sale starts mid-August, move fast.

To make sure you don’t miss it and stay in touch with us, be sure to follow 1Password on Twitter and Facebook!

1Password is a very safe basket

The right way to build reliable systems is to put all your eggs in one basket, after making sure that you’ve built a really good basket.

When you use a password manager, you are putting a great deal of valuable and sensitive information in one place. The expression, putting all your eggs in one basket is apt. When you put all your very valuable eggs in one basket, it is absolutely fit and proper to ask how secure that basket is.

The question becomes more salient when there are press reports of past security problems in a number of password managers (1Password was not among them). Those reports are based on some excellent research on web-based password managers by Zhiwei Li and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, (“Go Cal!”).

What does that report mean for 1Password?

The Berkeley team looked at threats that affect web-based password managers. 1Password is not a web-based password manager and so, by and large, is not subject to the threats discussed in that paper. Different security architectures face different threats.

We made our choice of security architecture with this in mind. As a consequence of our design decisions, the particular threats and vulnerabilities discussed in the Berkeley paper are simply not applicable to 1Password.

(Most) Vendors acted swiftly and responsibly

Before I elaborate on some of the distinctions between web-based password managers, I would like to emphasize a point that I feel has not been sufficiently stressed in the public discussion of the Berkeley team’s analysis. The problems were fixed almost a year ago and apparently before any damage was done.

Although some of the problems were severe, four out of the five products studied fixed the problems quickly:

We reported all the attacks discussed below to the software vendors affected in the last week of August 2013. Four out of the five vendors responded within a week of our report, [...] Aside from linkability vulnerabilities and those found in [the one that didn't respond], all other bugs that we describe in the paper have been fixed by vendors within days after disclosure.

There is no denying that some of the disclosed bugs were severe, but they were reported responsibly and acted on promptly. Both the vendors and the researchers should be commended for how they handled this.

Because of its distinct security architecture, 1Password doesn’t face the specific threats in that particularly study, though it does face other threats which we try to defend against. Anyone who claims that they are completely invulnerable and bug free shouldn’t be in the security business. We strive to be bug free, and we strive for a fully secure design, but part of the process of security is making improvements in response to external discoveries of problems.

If I may quote something we wrote three years ago:

If you build a tough lock on a door, it is easy to imagine that you have now secured that door and don’t need to think about it anymore. But in the security business life is rarely that simple. Both the “threat landscape” and our understanding of the locks we’ve built earlier changes. The renowned security expert, Bruce Schneier is famous for (among other things) saying more than a decade ago that security is a process, not a product.

I am not trying to diminish the severity of the bugs discovered and fixed. They were anything but “routine”, but this case is an example where responsible disclosure and appropriate action kept user data safe.

Not Applicable

As I said above, 1Password is not a web-based password manager. You do not log into some web service that is managing your passwords. As a consequence, we don’t face the same kinds of security concerns that web-based services may face. A partial exception to that involves our 1PasswordAnywhere features, which I will return to below.

Nothing is impenetrable, but we have chosen a different security design deliberately. Our security design reduces the number of fronts on which we need to fight to defend your data. In slightly more technical jargon, we designed 1Password to minimize the “attack surface.” Let me run through a couple of examples of what I mean by certain sorts of threats not being applicable to 1Password.

With no authentication, no authentication errors are possible

One type of error discussed in the paper has to do with how the user authenticates (logs into) the particular web service. There are opportunities for bugs or design flaws to be introduced in that process. 1Password does not involve any authentication or web-based service, and therefore this isn’t a part of 1Password (at all) and so isn’t a part that can go wrong.

We can’t hand out data we don’t have

Another issue that came up in the Berkeley analysis of several of those web-based password managers is with how the service could be tricked into handing out data to the wrong person. Again, we don’t have your data in any form whatsoever, so even if we could be tricked into handing it out, we’ve got nothing to hand out.

Fewer phishing opportunities

Phishing is the trick where an attacker lure you into entering a password (or secret) that you would wish to give one service into a service under the attacker’s control. For example, most of us have received spam claiming to be from PayPal asking us to log in to reset our PayPal passwords. The actual website this spam directs you to is not the real PayPal site, but instead is something under the attacker’s control. This, for some reason, is called “phishing.”

You never type your 1Password Master Password into the web browser (with the exception of 1PasswordAnywhere). With 1Password 4, you never type your Master Password into a browser extension, either. You only type it into the 1Password program itself or into 1Password Mini (on Mac) or 1Password Helper (on Windows). Because of this, it is very unlikely that a malicious website could trick you into giving it your Master Password.

This is a consequence of the fact that 1Password doesn’t do authentication, but it is distinct enough that I listed it separately.

Goodbye to bookmarklets

Browser extensions and browser bookmarklets live in a hostile environment. They live in an environment that is partially created by the web pages you happen to be visiting (and things that those web pages may load from elsewhere). Browser extensions are sandboxed in a way that gives them more protection than bookmarklets. Bookmarklets are highly exposed, and so they need very very strong defenses.

Years ago, 1Password did offer a bookmarklet to provide some ability to use your 1Password data within browsers that didn’t support the 1Password extension at the time. But in 2011 we phased it out, saying:

It’s time to say good-bye to a couple of features that won’t stand up to the anticipated threat environment. One feature, loved by many, is the Login Bookmarklet. This was originally designed as a way to get some 1Password functionality into browsers we didn’t support at the time. Before we had 1Password for iOS, this could be used to kinda-sorta get 1Password data into browsers that didn’t support 1Password directly.

The data in the 1Password Bookmarklet is very well encrypted, but the password for it is not secured using PBKDF2. This means that if the Bookmarklet were to be captured it would need a very strong password on it to resist attack. Because the Login Bookmarklet lives in the browser’s bookmarks, there are more opportunities for it to be captured. Given these two issues, it is time to phase the bookmarklet out.

We weren’t saying back then in 2011 or saying now that it would be impossible to find a way to keep the bookmarklet both usable and sufficiently secure. But we were in a position, given our security architecture, to withdraw from having to defend your data on that particular front.


Li’s team raised concerns about “linkability”. Linkability isn’t about revealing the content of your data, but it is a threat to your ability to remain anonymous. If you have a Login with username “Alice” on one site, and “Bob” on another, you may not wish those sites to be able to figure out that those two accounts belong to the same person. That is, you may not wish anyone to be able to “link” those two accounts.

1Password leaks no such information. We don’t have the ability to link those, and even someone who captured your encrypted 1Password data (new format) wouldn’t be able to perform such linking. Again, this is largely a consequence of the fact that we don’t store your data in any form.

Does anything in that paper apply to us?

From the above, you could be left with the feeling that there is nothing for us to learn from Li et al.’s paper. But there are lessons for us. We do have a browser extension, and while it is very different from the kinds of extensions used by web-based password managers, it still needs to remain secure in a hostile environment.

The paper offers two general recommendations that would help provide layers of defense for bookmarklets and extensions. One of them is to specify a restrictive Content Security Policy (CSP) within the extension. The other is to restrict what sorts of JavaScript language features are used within the extension or bookmarklet.

Good advice on Content Security Policies

Content Security Policies is a relatively new and not fully standardized technology. It is most useful for websites to state a CSP which browsers should then enforce. But it is also possible for browser extensions to state a policy. One important policy statement could say that no scripts from outside of the extension should be loaded. When CSP was first introduced, We had jumped on this but found that each browser did things differently, and at the time, even the most advanced didn’t behave as documented.

Here is an excerpt of something I wrote to some of the authors of the paper last Friday (July 11).

Our earlier attempts to specify a [strong] CSP within our [1Password version 3] extension left us with a bad taste in our mouth, but that was a few years ago and browser implementation was erratic, particularly of CSPs within extensions. Your paper is a nice reminder to attempt this again

We do currently use the default CSP that comes with Google Chrome’s  manifest version 2 specification, but it is time to test again how well CSPs work in other browsers.

Defensive JavaScript

Zhiwei and co-authors also point developers to Defensive JavaScript. Roughly speaking this involves avoiding certain features of the JavaScript language, while at the same time encapsulating your own JavaScript functions to protect them from outside tampering.

We had already been aware of the specific recommendations. Although we may not be following the letter of those recommendations, our practices have long been in line with the spirit of them. We avoid “eval”-like operations, and anything we inject into the web page is wrapped up in closures.

Again, their paper is a nice reminder for us to take a look at this again, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect our browser extension from compromise.

The exceptional 1PasswordAnywhere

1PasswordAnywhere is an optional, but useful, feature for many users of 1Password. It is useful when you don’t have 1Password itself with you. If you synchronize your data with Dropbox using the Agile Keychain Format, you will have a file within your Agile Keychain folder called 1Password.html. That file contains the JavaScript necessary to give you read access to your 1Password data stored on Dropbox in your Agile Keychain.

1PasswordAnywhere is as secure today as the day we introduced it. Its security has not diminished in any way. But it does remain an exception to much of what I have said above. It does involve a great deal of cryptography in JavaScript; it is an instance where you do enter your 1Password Master Password into the browser, its security relies on TLS/SSL in a way that the rest of 1Password does not, and it is subject to active attacks (data tampering) in ways that the latest version of 1Password is not.

Again, let me stress that 1PasswordAnywhere remains as secure as ever. But because it is cryptography in JavaScript delivered over SSL/TLS and stored on a third party system, it faces threats that other uses of 1Password do not face.

Continuing the discussion

Zhiwei Li will be presenting his results at the 23rd USENIX Security Symposium August 20–25, which I will be attending. I am very much looking forward to continuing my discussion with him and his co-authors in person. I will have a busy August. I will be presenting a paper at PasswordsCon14 August 5–6. In between these two conferences is my 25th wedding anniversary. (If Lívia can put up with me talking about security concepts for 25 years, you, Dear Reader, can manage to wade through some of my long-winded explanations on occasion.)

Baskets are inevitable

I would like to return to the concerns about “putting all of your eggs in one basket”. With a password manager, you are, indeed, putting all of your eggs in one basket. And so it is important that you read articles like this so that you can get a better sense of how well that basket is protected. But I would like to point out that the likely alternative to using a password manager is to resue passwords. Reusing passwords involves putting multiple eggs into multiple, very fragile baskets.

Password reuse

Regular readers of the Agile Blog know that I can’t avoid speaking of the dangers of password reuse. When you use the same password on more than one site or service you are putting yourself at risk. A breach of security with one of those sites leads to your password being discovered, allowing attackers to compromise all the other services for which you use the same password.

Reuse baskets

Suppose that you use the password “2b|kn0t2b” on five different sites. Say, PayPal, Amazon, Dropbox, MyKittyPictures, and TheNewBarkTimes. By doing so, you are putting the security of those five eggs into a single basket. Sure, that isn’t all your eggs in one basket, but it is still five. The more you reuse a password the larger the basket grows.

Furthermore, the bigger your reuse basket grows, the weaker it becomes. This is because the more sites and services that you use the same password for, the more likely it is that that password will be exposed. Suppose that one of the sites doesn’t use SSL/TLS to security your connection. Your password for that site (and for the whole basket) will travel over the network unencrypted. Suppose another site suffers a breach in which its (hopefully hashed) password database is stolen. Your password for your whole basket will depend on the strength of the password and how well that particular site hashes the password. Perhaps one of the sites that you use that same password for is in the habit of sending passwords through email (it happens). The larger your reuse basket becomes, the greater the opportunity for it to be compromised.

So far, I have met one person with many logins who does not need to put multiple eggs into a single basket. She credibly claims to have memorized about 80 unique and reasonably secure passwords. Her superpower is a photographic memory and specific security training in password choice. The rest of us, however, do not share her superpower, and inevitably must put multiple eggs into single baskets. It’s better to pick a basket like 1Password that has been carefully designed for the purpose and subject to scrutiny.

No, you do not need to change passwords in response to the OpenSSL CCS bugs

For the third time this year, there is yet another flaw in an underlying security technology used across the net: the recently fixed OpenSSL bugs announced on June 5. For our customers, we are happy to report that 1Password is not affected by bugs in SSL implementations, nor do these bugs require that most people change passwords.

1Password is not affected and your data remains secure, and you do not need to make password changes. The bug that everyone is talking about, lovingly referred to as “ChangeCipherSpec (CCS)” (also known as “CVE-2014-0224″ or “SSL/TLS MITM vulnerability”), is not in the same category as the recent, catastrophic Heartbleed. It does not require a response from most people in the way that Heartbleed did.

Why no password changes?

As bad as the CCS bug is, here is what makes it different from Heartbleed from a user’s perspective.

1. The attacker must be in a “privileged network position”

Not anyone can launch a CCS-based attack. The attacker must be the operator of some of the network between you and the site you are using. In this respect, the attack is similar to the GotoFail bug in February on Apple’s Secure Transport. In contrast, Heartbleed could be easily launched by anyone anywhere on the net.

2. Both the client and the server must be vulnerable for the attack to work

This means that if you are not using a vulnerable SSL client (web browser, email program, etc), then you remain safe from this attack even if the server is vulnerable. Few desktop browsers use the OpenSSL libraries to manage their SSL connections. Chrome on Android and Konqueror on KDE (linux) are the two most popular ones I can think of that do. Chrome on desktops does not use OpenSSL. In contract, Heartbleed only required the server to be vulnerable.

3. Many systems were fixed before the news of the bugs were made fully public

It is very tricky to fix a bug in open source software without making knowledge of the bug public at the same time. The OpenSSL team and the discoverers of Heartbleed attempted, but failed, to get most systems fixed before going public. With these bugs, they did a better job, so the window of vulnerability was much shorter.

Each of the first two reasons, on their own, are sufficient for me to conclude that the large majority of people do not need to worry about changing passwords. The combination of them and the other two make me extremely comfortable in this advice.

If you are concerned about governments or network operators having exploited this bug, and if you used clients that relied on OpenSSL for their SSL operations (such as Chrome on Android or Konqueror and other KDE tools on Linux), you may wish to change those passwords. But most people don’t need to take any action. It remains important that you do change passwords for systems that had been vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug reported in April. With Heartbleed, there really is a wolf we are crying about.

These new OpenSSL bugs do mean that system administrators need to update their systems quickly, but it does not require them to rekey their server certificates. These bugs are substantial, but the response is the usual “upgrade affected systems promptly”.

Everything that follows goes into technical details explaining what the recent bugs are and what they may mean in general. They have no specific impact on 1Password, but I know that some of you are curious, and I do indeed suffer from a pathological compulsion to explain things.

Read more

On iOS 8, App Extensions, OS X Yosemite, and 1Password

iOS 8 App Extensions iconHonestly, we’d like to exclaim from atop Yosemite’s cliffs about our excitement for the other Yosemite, iOS 8, and all the incredible things Apple announced during WWDC 2014’s opening keynote.

But the great news is we’re actually here, in San Francisco, to learn first-hand about all this amazing new stuff straight from Apple (though the not-so-great news is we’ll have to hold off on the road trip)! If you’re in the area and see us around, we love to meet fellow developers and our amazing customers—be sure to say hi!

iOS 8 App Extensions, Touch ID opening up, and what this all could mean for 1Password

By now you may have heard about App Extensions, one of the many, many new features Apple announced is coming to iOS 8 in the fall. In short, App Extensions allow third-party apps to plug into other apps, including Apple’s own.

iOS extensions

Combine that with Apple’s announcement that Touch ID is also opening up to third-party developers, and you can see why we were doing Snoopy dances in our keynote seats. Then pile on other great new stuff like user-installable keyboards, OS-wide support for third-party cloud storage, Spotlight improvements, and… well, you can see we have a lot of dancing to do. Then, we have a lot of research and testing to do.

This all is incredibly exciting, and we are looking into the delectable possibilities these features might be able to unlock for 1Password. Might.

Right now, we have nothing to announce since we learned of all this awesomeness at the same time as you. We still need to explore the actual capabilities of these features and whether we can even use them.

As soon as we can say more about whether iOS 8’s HomeKit features will let 1Password turn off your lights and lock your front door along with your vault, we’ll exclaim it from atop our blog here, Twitter, Facebook, and our newsletter!

Password reuse lands Find My iPhone users in expensive hot water

1Password 4 for Mac icon

There are plenty of examples as to why friends shouldn’t let friends reuse passwords, but some users of Apple’s Find my iPhone have become the latest omen of why this practice is so dangerous.

On Tuesday, May 27, The Verge reported that Apple’s Find my iPhone feature was being used to lock devices for ransom. Some people found their Mac or iPhone locked—a legitimate feature of Find my iPhone—with a message of “Device hacked by Oleg Pliss” and a demand of $50 to unlock it.

At first it wasn’t clear how the malicious hacker(s) were able to compromise these devices, but today Apple stated that it wasn’t through an iCloud flaw. The most likely culprit, then, would be password reuse. Thanks to all the recent major breaches at some of the internet’s largest companies, including eBay, Adobe, and Yahoo, the hackers probably had plenty of material to rummage through.

Let this be yet another unfortunate and pricey lesson about reusing passwords. Don’t do it. Don’t let your friends and family do it. Send them these stories and get 1Password to effortlessly create strong, unique passwords for all your accounts.

Take Control of 1Password ebook updated for our new Watchtower service

Take Control 1P 1-2By now you’ve probably heard of 1Password Watchtower, our new service that warns and informs you when websites of your Logins have been compromised. Watchtower has been a huge hit with our Mac customers and is coming soon to Windows, and now you can learn more about it in the latest update to Take Control of 1Password, the comprehensive ebook by Joe Kissell.

This latest free update to the book—version 1.2.1 for those keeping track at home—adds a new section in “Perform a Password Security Audit” that explains what 1Password Watchtower is and does, and how to make it part of your security regimen. Honestly, that whole section is perfect to review and re-review for both current and new book owners alike, as it walks through some of 1Password’s most useful and effective tools under Security Audit.

Take Control of 1Password v1.2.1 is now available. Current owners can sign into their Take Control Ebooks account to grab the latest edition, or you can pick up your copy for just $10.

1Password in the news

newsWe are constantly amazed by all the great things people write and create about 1Password, whether it’s a review of our latest iOS update, a fan-made “1Password Emergency Kit”  for friends and family, or even just fun Twitter conversations that lead to craziness like this.

We want to give a proper shout out to this good stuff here on the Agile Blog, so I will occasionally round it up starting… now.

Honorable mention: Mike Vardy’s 1Password Emergency Kit v2.0. Mike released this latest update to his kit last fall, but it really does deserve another mention. Having this in place in case something happens to you is just smart planning, for both you and your loved ones.

AgileBits’ Roustem Karimov to speak this week at NSNorth in Ottawa, Canada

NSNorth 2014 logoIt’s been a little while since an AgileBits co-founder or CEO spoke at a conference, so it’s great that our own Roustem Karimov is carrying the torch to NSNorth this week!

NSNorth goes down in Ottowa, Canada from May 8-10. Roustem joins quite the roster of speakers, and he allegedly plans to share his origin story and spill all of our secrets as to how AgileBits gets things done. He and other Agile dev and design folks—Dave Teare, Jeff Shiner, Dan Peterson, Rad Azzouz, Winnie Teichmann, and maaaybe Philippe Lague-Morin—will also be mingling and most likely smiling, so be sure to track them down and say hi!