Feeds

Someone stole your phone? Now they'll have your STARBUCKS password – the horror!

Plaintext logins spark, wait for it, a storm in a C cup

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Starbucks has been called out after its smartphone app was caught storing unencrypted passwords on the mobe's file system.

The lazy programming was revealed yesterday by security researcher Daniel Wood after he poked around the expensive warm-milk vendor's iOS application.

The stored plaintext password is used to log into the user's online Starbucks account, whereas the software should have used a cryptographic token or similar, ideally. Anyone who can get their hands on the unencrypted passphrase and user email address could hit the jackpot if the victim uses those details to log into other websites.

Getting one's hands on those credentials isn't a piece of overpriced muffin cake, however. To gather the data, one could connect the victim's iPhone to a desktop computer to access the device's file system, and then retrieve a log file generated by the Starbucks app that sloppily includes unencrypted user account information.

It bears noting that in the event a phone is stolen by an attacker who is able to access and extract data from log files, the sanctity of a Starbucks online loyalty account is well down on a long list of things one should be worried about.

Still, that the US cafe giant would fail to provide basic protections and store customer information in plaintext suggests a lax approach to security.

Shortly after the disclosure of the vulnerability, Starbucks issued a statement confirming the flaw and reporting that the company was moving to address the issue in its mobile app.

"We'd like to be clear: there is no indication that any customer has been impacted by this or that any information has been compromised," the company said in a statement.

"Regardless, we take these types of concerns seriously and have added several safeguards to protect the information you share with us."

The company is also asking users to directly report any believed or suspected account theft or fraud attempts.

The use of encryption to protect customer data is essential as retailers and restaurants develop and deploy mobile payment and rewards services, which store and transfer sensitive information. Companies that fail to take security seriously are simply putting themselves on a road to costly failure. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.