Ubuntu

Passwords should not be required when creating accounts

Reported by Alex Mauer on 2007-06-05
228
This bug affects 45 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Empathy
Fix Released
Medium
meta-telepathy
Fix Released
Wishlist
empathy (Baltix)
Undecided
Unassigned
empathy (Ubuntu)
High
Unassigned
Declined for Lucid by Sebastien Bacher
Declined for Maverick by Sebastien Bacher
Karmic
Medium
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: empathy

I cannot add an account to empathy. If I open the accounts window, hit add, select type: jabber, fill in a name ("home"), fill in my account info, and then hit close, then when I open the accounts window again the account is not listed.

This also applies to other account types.

EDIT (09-28-2009): the nature of this report should be that accounts should be able to be created without requiring passwords.

Alex Mauer (hawke) on 2007-06-05
description: updated

Have you installed telepathy-core package? I think empathy should depend on telepathy-core since it is useless otherwise.

Changed in empathy:
status: Unconfirmed → Needs Info
Alex Mauer (hawke) wrote :

I have not, because it pulls in dependencies on crap I don't want, like telepathy-idle (irc), telepathy-sofiasip, telepathy-butterfly (MSN). telepathy-gabble should do the job just fine for what I need, as far as I know. It did fine for gossip-telepathy.

Xavier Claessens (zdra) wrote :

You have to fill the password too. Incomplete accounts are not saved by MC. That's not an empathy bug, it's a MC feature :)

Alex Mauer (hawke) wrote :

I think you use the term "feature" rather liberally. ;-)

It's odd, given that you can clear out the password after the account has been created...but then it doesn't prompt you for one and won't connect.

It definitely *shouldnt* require you to store the password though, given that it's presumably unencrypted, or encrypted reversibly.

Alex Mauer (hawke) on 2007-06-21
Changed in empathy:
status: Incomplete → New
Nic (ntetreau) wrote :

installing empathy-core plus all dependency fixed this issue for me.

Id2ndR (id2ndr) wrote :

empathy-core package is not available anymore. But there is telepathy-core.
Can you still add account with final release ? I was able to before, but I can't anymore (see Bug #156444).

Guillaume Desmottes (cassidy) wrote :
Changed in empathy:
status: New → Incomplete
Alex Mauer (hawke) wrote :

I'm still encountering this bug. And it is a bug, not a feature. "Incomplete" accounts are in fact saved by mc. Evidence: any additional accounts get the name "jabber1","jabber2", "jabber3", etc. These accounts show up in gconf under /apps/telepathy/mc/accounts/jabber1, 2, 3, etc. So it is a bug in empathy, not a feature of mission control.

Laurent Bigonville (bigon) wrote :

Could you try with the last version uploaded in hardy? (0.21.90-2)

Alex Mauer (hawke) wrote :

This is in 0.21.90-2

Changed in empathy:
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Fole (fole) wrote :

This is not related to the bug Guillaume Desmottes mentioned (this one is related to genders of messages in empathy).

Changed in empathy:
importance: Undecided → Low
Alex Mauer (hawke) wrote :

This is still a problem in empathy 2.24.0.

summary: - empathy: cannot add account.
+ Cannot add account

This is still a problem in 2.27.92, in Karmic Alpha 6. Why is this program, with such a glaring security issue, going to be the new default?

Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote :

Everett: the newest version is 2.28.0-0ubuntu2.... Please try that before any further comments.

Everett Guerny (everett) wrote :

Thanks for the quick response, Brian. Just upgraded to 2.28.0 and found nothing changed. It is still impossible to add an account without saving a password, and impossible to remove that password once saved.

Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote :

Since your attempting to either create a brand new account, or use an existing account. You should already know the password and/or be able to insert one to use in your new account creating. What do you expect to be able to do?

Everett Guerny (everett) wrote :

I expect to be able to add a new account to Empathy WITHOUT HAVING MY PASSWORD SAVED. Unfortunately, this is not possible, even in the newest version of Empathy in Karmic.

This was mentioned earlier in this bug, in comment #3 and comment #4. However, I can clearly see that this is not the focus of the bug. Also, my bug, focused on the password saving problem, bug #391659, was marked as a duplicate of this bug.

Is it so hard to understand why an app forcing users to save their passwords -- and having that app be included by default with Ubuntu -- is a very, very bad idea?

Darxus (darxus) wrote :

I completely agree with Everett Guerny.

An Ubuntu release with a default chat client that won't let you create an account without saving a password is seriously broken.

And if that's not the subject of this bug, then what is the subject of this bug? And #391659 needs to cease to be marked as a duplicate of this bug.

Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote :

The subject of this bug is "Cannot add account", nor in the description of the bug report does it say that accounts should be able to be created without saving a password. I believe it would be of interest to get the bug title changed, and edit the description as well.. which I will go ahead and do.

I do feel that the intention of the bug reporter was to make sure accounts could be created without passwords inserted.

Thank you for clerifying your idea.

summary: - Cannot add account
+ Passwords should not be required when creating accounts
description: updated

Architecture: amd64
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 9.10
NonfreeKernelModules: fglrx
Package: empathy 2.28.0-0ubuntu2
PackageArchitecture: amd64
ProcEnviron:
 SHELL=/bin/bash
 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.31-11.36-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.31-11-generic x86_64
UserGroups: adm admin cdrom dialout lpadmin plugdev sambashare

tags: added: apport-collected
Scott Kitterman (kitterman) wrote :

I certainly have systems I'd rather not store passwords on, I think for a default client, this is not Low and should be addressed.

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
importance: Low → High
milestone: none → ubuntu-9.10
Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote :

lol, thanks scott.. i was getting there. Agreed, it should be high and addressed.

Everett Guerny (everett) wrote :

Thanks for understanding. :-)

Martin Pitt (pitti) on 2009-10-09
Changed in empathy (Ubuntu Karmic):
importance: High → Medium
Laurent Claessens (moky-math) wrote :

Maybe I'm trying to convince people who are already convinced, but creating an account without giving the password, and more importantly without store it is a problem in the following user case.

Cécile has to connect herself sometime on the computer of her sister Camille. Since Cécile don't trust her sister and just wants to have an account set up, but wants to have to enter her password each time.

The strong dependency of Empathy on the keyring make that possibility impossible, so that Cécile has to use GoogleTalk online or even Kopete ;)

Darxus (darxus) wrote :

Laurent: Since the bug priority was just reduced, the bug hasn't been fixed, and is two years old, and Ubuntu is about to be released with a default chat client (this) that forces users to store their passwords, there are clearly still relevant people who need to be convinced.

Martin: Why was the priority reduced?

Brian Curtis (bcurtiswx) wrote :

Triagers use https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Importance for setting importance on bugs.
Of course these are always debatable to certain extents.

Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

I don't think this is important enough to be a release blocker, and pidgin is still available in main (and won't be cleaned up on upgrades).

Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

We have nobody to work on this right now, and since pidgin is still in main (and will even be kept on upgrades), this isn't a blocker for karmic release. It's just a msising feature, thus isn't appropriate for an SRU as well.

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu Karmic):
milestone: ubuntu-9.10 → none
status: Triaged → Won't Fix
Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
importance: Medium → High
assignee: nobody → Ubuntu Desktop Bugs (desktop-bugs)
Everett Guerny (everett) wrote :

Wouldn't the sensible thing to do be keep the non-security-compromising app (pidgin) as the default until its replacement is ready to not compromise the security of those who use it?

Maybe pidgin should be the default IM program again, since Empathy is not
ready yet for security reasons. Empathy still will be in main repos if
somebody want it...

2009/10/22 Everett Guerny <email address hidden>

> Wouldn't the sensible thing to do be keep the non-security-compromising
> app (pidgin) as the default until its replacement is ready to not
> compromise the security of those who use it?
>
> --
> Passwords should not be required when creating accounts
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/118800
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of a duplicate bug.
>
> Status in High-level library and user-interface for Telepathy: Unknown
> Status in “empathy” package in Ubuntu: Triaged
> Status in empathy in Ubuntu Karmic: Won't Fix
> Status in “empathy” package in Baltix: New
>
> Bug description:
> Binary package hint: empathy
>
> I cannot add an account to empathy. If I open the accounts window, hit
> add, select type: jabber, fill in a name ("home"), fill in my account info,
> and then hit close, then when I open the accounts window again the account
> is not listed.
>
> This also applies to other account types.
>
> EDIT (09-28-2009): the nature of this report should be that accounts should
> be able to be created without requiring passwords.
>

Gerard Dethier (g-dethier) wrote :

I agree with Everett and Ricardo. I recently posted a bug (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/telepathy-butterfly/+bug/457942) which also rises an important security issue related to the usage of Empathy. Setting Empathy as default IM client for Karmic seems to me to be a bad idea. If it is still the case, these security problems should clearly be exposed so users can switch to pidgin if they want.

Darxus (darxus) wrote :

I agree that empathy should not be the default chat client until this issue is resolved, and that it should be switched to pidgin, as it has been in previous releases.

Gerard Dethier (g-dethier) wrote :

Forget the bug I mentionned in comment #32, it is invalid...

The upstream bug is still marked as UNCONFIRMED. I confirmed it in bugzilla since it's probably better if upstream is more aware of it.

Lot of Empathy users have asked to be able to create an account without saving its password. Password will be then asked when trying to connect. It's currently not possible as MC will consider such account as invalid.

See https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=586562

Nick Barkas (snb) wrote :

It looks like Empathy uses the Gnome keyring for storing passwords, so at least they are encrypted when saved (unlike Pidgin). I agree that it would be good to not require password saving. But at least the passwords should not be readable by anyone else even with admin or physical access to the computer they are saved on, unless that person has your login password to the machine (or whatever other password you're using for Gnome keyring).

Ari (ari-reads) wrote :

In a "shared family computer" where the PC automatically logins a random user, this "feature" in empathy is useless, and actually puts your passwords at risks. It is quite curious that empathy does not allow configuring accounts in such a way that it asks for the password everytime it connects, if the user so wishes.
I'm hoping at some point the app will mature and add this functionality

Changed in meta-telepathy:
status: Unknown → Confirmed

The APIs currently used by MC assume that all necessary parameters to connect to an account are supplied up-front. This isn't the case if passwords aren't saved.

After API for interactive credentials prompting has been designed (Bug #14003) and added to connection managers, the password can disappear from the connection managers' set of required parameters, which will in turn mean that an account with no password can be considered "valid".

Leaving this open as a metabug, but reassigning to telepathy-spec (it's not really MC's fault).

Joel Ebel (jbebel) on 2010-04-14
tags: added: glucid
Changed in empathy:
status: Unknown → Confirmed

telepathy-gabble now does not require 'password' up front. Of course other CMs might..

There is also the case where the password is an empty string. I can't say if the problem is in the GUI side (Empathy) for this case. For example, my SIP registration doesn't use a password, but Empathy will not let me create an account with an empty password.

Changed in meta-telepathy:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
Changed in empathy:
importance: Unknown → Medium
Norman Rasmussen (normanr) wrote :

and of course any sort of Kerberos account won't have a password either.

Amr Mostafa (amr-mostafa) wrote :

I think this is very important to fix. I love Empathy but I just can't have my password stored anywhere in plain text (I'm assuming plain text here, would love to be corrected).

Thanks

Sitsofe Wheeler (sitsofe) wrote :

(If you post a question to a bug please subscribe yourself to the bug so you can see the reply. Amr I've subscribed you this bug so you can see the reply :) )

Amr:
The answer is somewhat complicated and boils down to "it is probably encrypted on disk".

Empathy passwords are stored in the GNOME keyring, which by default is encrypted on disk using your login password. It is possible to override this and use unsafe storage with your GNOME keyring in which case it will be stored on disk in something that amounts to plain text.

Once a keyring is unlocked all passwords can be viewed in their original unencrypted form. Typically, when you log in your keyring unlocked.

Amr Mostafa (amr-mostafa) wrote :

Thank you Sitsofe, appreciate it. What you described seem to be much better than my pessimistic expectation :)

Yet, IMHO this still doesn't lift off the ultimate need for this feature for shared & corporate environments

Changed in empathy:
status: Confirmed → Unknown
Nerd_bloke (nerd-bloke) wrote :

Gnome 586562 was marked as a duplicate

Changed in empathy:
importance: Medium → Unknown
Changed in empathy:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Fix Released
Changed in meta-telepathy:
importance: Wishlist → Unknown
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

this issue have been fixed in Natty Narwal with empathy 2.33.x

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
assignee: Ubuntu Desktop Bugs (desktop-bugs) → nobody
Changed in meta-telepathy:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
Changed in meta-telepathy:
status: In Progress → Fix Released
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