18 July 2013

Tumblr passwords sent in a readable format without proper security

Users of the Tumblr app for Apple products including iPhones and iPads are advised to change their password for Tumblr.

A flaw in the app has been sending passwords in a plain text format, rather than securely, to the app servers.
This means that any person looking at network traffic could easily find your password.

A message posted on the Tumblr blog advises users to update the app and change their password immediately.
Passwords are normally sent using encryption, meaning that only the Tumblr servers would be able to decrypt the password. However, this was not performed in recent versions of the app and, instead, the password could be read using a technique known as “sniffing” network traffic.

Sniffing involves recording communications occurring between devices on a network and looking at the contents. Encryption is a standard method used to stop this type of attack.

Updating your software and passwords

If you use the Tumblr app on iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices, you are advised to update the app immediately and to change your password.

In addition, if you use the same password on any other websites or systems, you should also change your password for these systems.

More information

Apple provides advice on how to update apps for its products in its knowledge base.

Stay Smart Online provides advice about setting and using strong passwords.

More on passwords (PDF)

Information provided by the Internet Commerce Security Laboratory, www.icsl.com.au


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This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Communications ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

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Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.


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