Shared Databases May Allow Unauthorized Access to Partially-Trusted Users

• walterpg

This documents a potential security threat to your personal data. When KPSync for Google Drive plugin is used to synchronize a KeePass database shared with partially-trusted users, Google Drive data files can be compromised.

This is a Day One defect for all releases of the plugin, including Google Sync Plugin 3.0.

Please review the following to determine if you are affected by this issue, and if so how to measure the potential threat and remediate the problem.

Exposure Risk

If you are affected, any user in a group you share a database and its master password with may gain access to all Drive files, instead of only the synchronized KeePass file. Unless everyone in the group is already granted full-access privileges to the Google Drive account used for synchronization, the Drive data files could be at risk. A software exploit, leveraging a flaw in the plugin’s design and public Google APIs, can be crafted to expose, delete, and/or disfigure all data files in the Drive account.

Who is Affected

You may be exposed if:

  • The database is configured for database-stored authorization tokens (the traditional, default mode), AND
  • The plugin-synchronized database and its master password credentials are shared with users who are not otherwise granted access to the Drive account used for synchronization.

Who is NOT Affected

  • If you do not share your KeePass database with any other users, you are not affected.
  • If you share your KeePass database only with users who do not have access to its master password credentials, you are not affected.
  • If you share your KeePass database and credentials only with fully-trusted users who also are explicitly granted full access to the Google Drive account used with the plugin, you are not affected.
  • If the database is configured for session-stored authorization tokens, you are not affected.


First, ensure you are affected and at risk of harm as outlined above. If you are at risk, you should neutralize threats posed by the copies of the synchronized database distributed to the members of the group. Do the following to revoke the plugin’s authorizations:

  • Sign on to the Google Drive account used for synchronization.
  • Go to Drive settings, and select Manage Apps.
  • In the list of applications, find “KeePass Sync for Google Drive” and/or “KPSync for Google Drive”.
  • Select the option Disconnect from Drive for those entries.
  • Do not synchronize the database again until you determine it is safe to do so as outlined below.

To continue using the plugin safely, you must:

  • Stop sharing synchronized database files with other users, or…
  • If you must share a database, configure it for session-stored authorization tokens, otherwise…
  • If you must share, only share with users you would trust to have full access to the Drive account.
  • If you must share, consider using KeePass multi-factor credentials and secure hardware. Maintain strict control over the hardware and at least one factor of the credentials.

If none of the above remediations suit your use-case and sharing with partially-trusted users is unavoidable, you should stop using the plugin until this issue is generally resolved in a future release.

Fixes and Workarounds

By default, the version 4.0.4-beta release of the plugin blocks synchronization with files configured with Drive’s shared file feature. Note however this does not prevent other, less simple file sharing techniques, and so the general security issue remains unresolved. The (hazardous) legacy behavior of allowing sync under these conditions is retained only when the database is configured with personal OAuth 2.0 credentials.

Further, version 4.0.4-beta implements the session-stored authorization token feature, which addresses the issue by preventing the storage of authorization tokens in the database. This solution is not ideal however, because it requires the user to re-authorize the plugin each time KeePass is restarted.

The current design of the plugin is not conducive to a simple solution to the underlying problem of secure storage of authorization tokens in a shared database scenario. Please see Github issue #21 for a discussion of the portion of the issue centered on the Drive shared file feature, and join in the research for a permanent solution.

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KPSync for Google Drive™

Secure sync automation with Drive.