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Old 2 Jul 2017, 08:32 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 107
Security considerations

To avoid misunderstandings -- I greatly appreciate the efforts Runbox has undertaken to deliver the current 2FA implementation and I am sure the current 2FA is of huge value.

However, the security part of my brain is always thinking some steps ahead. While the current implementation certainly protects against non-targeted password theft (e.g. when logging in from a compromised public computer), I can see a couple of more sophisticated attack scenarios in which the current 2FA is non-effective.

IMHO, the main threat is that an attacker has control over the computer or the browser in real time while one is reading their email via the web interface. This could for instance very well be the case in cyber cafes. In this case we would have to assume that the password has already been compromised. Then e.g. the following could happen if the attacker was able to take over your session:

1) Set up email forwarding to an account controlled by the attacker.

2) Create a new method for 2FA, e.g. a new OTP start code / TOTP list, thus allowing the attacker to log in at his discretion and locking the owner out of his account.

While the latter would be immediately detected when the legitimate account owner tries to log into his account the next time, the former might go undetected for a long time.

As an effective way to counteract these threats, security-related settings could be secured by having to enter another (T)OTP for them to become effective. Not sure how easy this is to implement.


Last edited by gecko : 2 Jul 2017 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Minor changes
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