But – what does that mean?
Well, it means that we developed the LastPass password manager so that the following three points hold true:
1. All encryption and decryption happens on your computer.
When you create your LastPass account, an encryption key is created on your computer (your Master Password, or MP, and email go through a complex, irreversible process known as hashing to form your encryption key). Any sensitive data you then save to your account is ‘locked up’ by the encryption key while still on your computer, then sent in encrypted form to LastPass’ server.
2. The sensitive data that is harbored on our servers is always encrypted before it’s sent to us, so all we receive is gibberish.
Since the encryption key is locally created each time you submit your MP and email, all that we store and have access to on our servers is your encrypted data. Without your unique encryption key, your sensitive data is meaningless gibberish. Even if someone were to mandate that we provide a copy of our database, the data would still be unreadable without your encryption key.
3. We never receive the key to decrypt that data.
The unique encryption key formed from the hashing of your email and MP is never sent to our servers. We never, for any reason, would ask you for your MP, so the key remains safely with you.
Well, don’t just take our word for it: industry expert Steve Gibson recently reviewed us on his Security Now! podcast. After an hour-long, in-depth analysis of what LastPass is, how it works, and what it can do, Steve applauded our security measures and gave us his seal of approval.
"This thing is secure every way you can imagine. And it's simple," Steve says at one point. "I've completely switched my entire solution for managing passwords, after spending days researching it and testing it and playing with it, over to LastPass."
He goes on to declare that we've "really nailed it. I mean, I don't see a single problem with this."
Thanks Steve! We've tried to cover every security angle we can think of - and we continue to add improvements based on user feedback.
There's also a follow-up episode where a few questions from listeners regarding LastPass are addressed in detail.
We’ve embedded the video below so you can listen to the discussion of LastPass, starting around the 50th minute.