Creative agency management tool company Workamajig.com is a sizable operation with an international client base. Their product used to be called “Creative Manager Pro” which I can only assume they changed because it wasn’t actually creative enough. Anyway, it turns out that Workamajig has what is without doubt the absolute worst error message I can possibly think of from a security standpoint.
The error, which is triggered on login regardless of whether or not the username and password you enter are correct (presumably because the issue occurs while trying to authenticate), displays the username and the password the user has entered in cleartext and then (as if that wasn’t bad enough) encourages the user to email this information to their support department!
Yes, we have made the company aware of the problem. No, they have not fixed it yet. Proof in the form of a screen capture from literally 10 minutes ago:
No, these are not real credentials, but an uninformed user may very well enter access credentials that are valid. Since this issue is not triggered by invalid credentials, that means valid login information for god knows how many Workamajig user accounts is very likely sitting in the SMTP logs of countless mail servers. Since in many countries these logs are federally mandated to be saved for at least two years, if I were a user of Workamajig I would seriously consider changing my account password ASAP, as well as changing any other account that I used the same password for!
I can’t be sure from this screen shot, but I sincerely hope that user’s passwords are passed around in the application as well as stored on disk as salted cryptographic hashes. Of course, after seeing this, I wouldn’t be shocked if that wasn’t the case. The good news is that the login screen to their application is only accessible with an SSL/TLS connection, which does prevent someone from snooping on the wire. Nevertheless, there are still many attack vectors that SSL/TLS doesn’t protect against if the rest of the application is not secure or, say, if you’re encouraged to bypass those protections by sending emails with sensitive data in order to request technical support.
Anyway, hopefully this gets fixed sooner rather than later. At the very least, don’t encourage users to email cleartext passwords. That is pretty much always a Very Bad Thing.
On the issue of showing the user id and password in an error message, [we] will be changing the way that error message is displayed. […] Just to clarify the user id and password is just on the screen of the user that is logged in, and that message to copy and paste is a standard messages and it is just intended for you to copy and paste the error message; you are not required to send the user id and password.
I haven’t encountered the same issue again (but then again I only tried to login to my account twice in between then and now), so I can’t verify that the error message really has changed but I’d give Workamajig the benefit of the doubt. If you’re using Workamajig and notice a change in the way this login error is handled before I do, leave a comment to let me know it’s really been changed.