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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 142739 23-Mar-2014 07:54
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I recently signed up to the Moore Wilson's Wine Direct website.  A few days later I received a welcome e-mail that included by password in clear text (see below).  Does this mean it is stored as clear text?  My understanding is that it is far from best practice to receive your password for any site as clear text. As soon as I saw this, changed my password to a very, very, random 35 special character one - but I guess it is still in plain text.  So I wrote to Moore's and the web-site developer advising them of my concern and asking them to delete my account as I couldn't see anywhere on the account page to do this.  Pretty poor really in this day and age.








Tinshed
Wellington, New Zealand


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  Reply # 1011229 23-Mar-2014 08:46
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I think you are exposed in several possible ways.

Sending passwords via email is a security risk. 

And, their employees have access to unencrypted passwords.  After all, rogue employees do exist and it is better safe than sorry. Many people use the same userid/password for different websites so their employees could try your password out on facebook and other common websites. 

Is impossible to determine whether they store their passwords in an encrypted file or not. Maybe they do, but have an api that decrypts them into plain text using a decrypt key known by them. 

the only acceptable password security is where they are encrypted specifically according to your password and the only way to reset them is via an email link.  That is a good sign of proper security but not guaranteed . 





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  Reply # 1011234 23-Mar-2014 09:02
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While it may be considered to not be the best way of doing things from a security perspective these days it's definitely still exceptionally common, so common infact I'd say it's still probably the norm.

I've done password recoveries from 2 major global US hotel chains in recent weeks and both sent the password in plain text. 

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1011235 23-Mar-2014 09:02
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That website uses Magento. Default Magento functionality is to send out a welcome email including your username and password in clear text at time of registration. After it sends out that email, it then encrypts the password and saves it into its database. From that point on you cannot retrieve your password, if forgotten, and you must reset it.

 

Why it took you several days to receive the welcome email when it's triggered at registration, who knows? If sending out the password before it encrypts it is considered a security risk, then just about everyone with a Magento e-commerce website is in trouble. I'm sure there are already hundreds of Magento forums discussing this issue.

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  Reply # 1011239 23-Mar-2014 09:13
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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1011243 23-Mar-2014 09:32
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freitasm: Before you go ahead and tear your hair out, try recovering the password. Do you get the password or a reset link?


I get an (instant) reset link so I guess I get to keep my hair.




Tinshed
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  Reply # 1011594 24-Mar-2014 09:17
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Hi Tinshed, thanks for the feedback - as we've only just opened the doors on our new website, any constructive critricism is extremely welcome.

As has been pointed out by minigopher17, we are using Magento as the framework for our online shop, which sends out this info as the default setting - though there is NO saving of plain-text passwords in Magento and it is only sent at the time of registration before the password is hashed.

We have now removed the password from the email template (replaced with "The password you used during registration").

Thanks again for the feedback
MW




Moore Wilson & Co. Ltd

 




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  Reply # 1011607 24-Mar-2014 09:23
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MooreWilsons: Hi Tinshed, thanks for the feedback - as we've only just opened the doors on our new website, any constructive critricism is extremely welcome.

As has been pointed out by minigopher17, we are using Magento as the framework for our online shop, which sends out this info as the default setting - though there is NO saving of plain-text passwords in Magento and it is only sent at the time of registration before the password is hashed.

We have now removed the password from the email template (replaced with "The password you used during registration").

Thanks again for the feedback
MW


Thank you for your response. I really appreciate it and you taking action. Thank you also for confirmation that passwords are not stored in plain text.  Coming on a public forum with your response is very good indicator that you care about your customers and are up-front about issues.

I look forward to placing my first order!






Tinshed
Wellington, New Zealand


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