This is a community wiki. I would really like other folk's thoughts on this. I do not want to discuss the ethics of storing plain text passwords either.
For those unfamiliar, libpurple is the library used by Pidgin, and when you choose to save your passwords, it does so as plain text under
The reasoning behind this is that if someone can access your user account, you have bigger problems to worry about, among other valid points.
My main worry is that I use my gmail account in Pidgin, and so my gmail password is stored in plain text. Access to someone's email means access to 90% of their other accounts, via password recovery features on most sites. Eeek.
- My /home is encrypted, if someone gets physical access to the drive
- I always lock my system when I walk away
- I'm sensible about installing unofficial packages
- Any application I run in userland has access to my user files
How safe is this really? Are there any other threats that could potentially access accounts.xml?
Thanks for the replies! So far have:
- Manage your firewall
- Use applications that store sensitive info securely (ie via Gnome Keyring)
- Use strong passwords and keep your system updated
- Symlink sensitive files from an encrypted ~/Private directory
I'm happy that my data is safe in case of theft. I'm more worried about some process crafted to target these unsecured files. Then again the nature of open source software makes it difficult for malicious apps, as public code review will expose the malicious code.
If you you can think of any other vectors through which these account details could be accessed, I'd like to hear them :)