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1 g2boojum 1.1 GLEP: 14
2     Title: security updates based on GLSA
3 g2boojum 1.5 Version: $Revision: 1.4 $
4     Last-Modified: $Date: 2003/11/10 19:21:57 $
5 g2boojum 1.1 Author: Marius Mauch <genone@genone.de>,
6 g2boojum 1.4 Status: Accepted
7 g2boojum 1.1 Type: Standards Track
8     Content-Type: text/x-rst
9     Created: 18 Aug 2003
10 g2boojum 1.5 Post-History: 22-Aug-2003, 24-Aug-2003, 10-Nov-2003, 25-Oct-2004
11 g2boojum 1.1
12    
13     Abstract
14     ========
15    
16     There is currently no automatic way to check a Gentoo system for identified
17     security holes or auto-apply security fixes. This GLEP proposes a way to deal
18     with this issue
19    
20 g2boojum 1.5 Status Update
21     =============
22    
23     Beta implementation in gentoolkit.
24    
25 g2boojum 1.1
26     Motivation
27     ==========
28    
29     Automatic checking for security updates is a often requested feature for Gentoo.
30     Implementing it will enable users to fix security holes without reading every
31     security announcement. It's also a feature that is often required in enterprise
32     environments.
33    
34    
35     Proposed change
36     ===============
37    
38     Update tool
39     -----------
40    
41 g2boojum 1.3 The coding part of this GLEP is a update tool that reads a GLSA, verifies its
42     GPG signature, checks if the system is affected by it and executes one of the
43     following actions, depending on user preferences:
44 g2boojum 1.1
45     - run all steps necessary to fix the security hole, including package updates and
46     daemon restarts.
47     - instruct the user how to fix the security hole.
48     - print the GLSA so the user can get more information if desired.
49    
50     Once this tool is implemented and well tested it can be integrated into portage.
51     A prototype `implementation`_ for this tool exists.
52    
53    
54     GLSA format
55     -----------
56    
57     The GLSA format needs to be specified, I suggest using XML for that to simplify
58     parsing and later extensions. See `implementation`_ for a sample DTD. The format
59     has to be compatible with the update tool of course. If necessary a converter
60 g2boojum 1.4 tool or an editor could be written for people not comfortable with XML (update:
61     a QT based editor for the GLSA format written by plasmaroo exists in the
62     gentoo-projects repository). Every GLSA has to be GPG signed by the responsible
63     developer, who has to be a member of the security herd.
64 g2boojum 1.1
65    
66     GLSA release process
67     --------------------
68    
69     Additional to sending the GLSA to the gentoo-announce mailing list it has to be
70     stored on a HTTP/FTP server and in the portage tree. I'd suggest a script should
71     be used to release a GLSA that will:
72    
73     - check the GLSA for correctness
74 g2boojum 1.3 - sign the GLSA with the developers GPG key
75 g2boojum 1.1 - send a mail to gentoo-announce with the XML GLSA and a plaintext version attached
76 g2boojum 1.4 - upload it to www.gentoo.org/security/en/glsa (via cvs commit)
77     - put it on the rsync server (via cvs commit)
78 g2boojum 1.1 - notify the moderators on the forums to make an announcement
79    
80    
81     Portage changes
82     ---------------
83    
84     Until the `update tool`_ is integrated into portage there will be no code changes
85     to portage. The update tool might require a few new configuration options, these
86     could be placed in make.conf or another config file in /etc/portage.
87    
88    
89     Rationale
90     =========
91    
92     The lack of automated security updates for Gentoo is one of the most often requested
93     features for portage as it is one of the standard features of other distributions.
94     As Gentoo already provides GLSAs for important security bugs it is only natural
95     to use these to implement this feature.
96    
97     To parse a GLSA in a program the format needs to be specified and a parser has
98     to be written. I suggest the use of XML for future GLSAs for the following reasons:
99    
100     - can be parsed and validated with existing libraries
101     - easy to extend while maintaining backwards compatibility
102     - tools can convert XML GLSAs in other formats, the other direction would be harder
103     - websites can use XSLT to markup GLSAs
104    
105     Putting the GLSAs in the portage tree allows all users to check their systems
106     for security updates without taking more actions and simplifies later integration
107     of the update tool into portage. For security minded persons the GLSAs are
108     available on a HTTP server to ease the load of the rsync servers.
109 g2boojum 1.3
110     To verify the signatures of the GLSAs the public keys of the developers should be
111     available in the portage tree and on the HTTP server. The verification is necessary
112     to prevent exploits by fake GLSAs.
113 g2boojum 1.1
114    
115     Implementation
116     ==============
117    
118     A prototype implementation (including the update tool, a DTD and a sample
119 g2boojum 1.4 XMLified GLSA) exists at http://gentoo.devel-net.org/glsa/ and in the
120     gentoo-projects/gentoo-security/GLSA repository. This GLEP is based
121 g2boojum 1.1 on that implementation, though it can be changed or rewritten if necessary.
122    
123    
124     Backwards compatibility
125     =======================
126    
127     The current `GLSA release process`_ needs to be replaced with this proposal. It
128     would be nice if old GLSAs would be transformed into XML as well, but that is
129     not a requirement for this GLEP.
130    
131    
132     Copyright
133     =========
134    
135     This document has been placed in the public domain.

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