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26     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">57</td>
27     </tr>
28     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Security of distribution of Gentoo software - Overview</td>
29     </tr>
30 robbat2 1.2 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.1</td>
31 cardoe 1.1 </tr>
32 robbat2 1.2 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Last-Modified:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference external" href="http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0057.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2008/10/21 23:30:47</a></td>
33 cardoe 1.1 </tr>
34     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Robin Hugh Johnson &lt;robbat2&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;</td>
35     </tr>
36     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Draft</td>
37     </tr>
38     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Informational</td>
39     </tr>
40     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Content-Type:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference external" href="glep-0002.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
41     </tr>
42     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">November 2005</td>
43     </tr>
44     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Updated:</th><td class="field-body">May 2006, October 2006, Novemeber 2007, June 2008, July 2008, October 2008</td>
45     </tr>
46     </tbody>
47     </table>
48     <hr />
49     <div class="contents topic" id="contents">
50     <p class="topic-title first">Contents</p>
51     <ul class="simple">
52     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#abstract" id="id1">Abstract</a></li>
53     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#motivation" id="id2">Motivation</a></li>
54     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#specification" id="id3">Specification</a><ul>
55     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#system-elements" id="id4">System Elements</a></li>
56     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#processes" id="id5">Processes</a></li>
57     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#attacks-against-processes" id="id6">Attacks against Processes</a></li>
58     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#security-for-processes" id="id7">Security for Processes</a></li>
59     </ul>
60     </li>
61     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id8">Backwards Compatibility</a></li>
62     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#endnote-history-of-tree-signing-in-gentoo" id="id9">Endnote: History of tree-signing in Gentoo</a></li>
63     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#thanks" id="id10">Thanks</a></li>
64     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#references" id="id11">References</a></li>
65     <li><a class="reference internal" href="#copyright" id="id12">Copyright</a></li>
66     </ul>
67     </div>
68     <div class="section" id="abstract">
69     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id1">Abstract</a></h1>
70     <p>This is the first in a series of 4 GLEPs. It aims to define the actors
71     and problems in the Gentoo software distribution process, with a strong
72     emphasis on security. The concepts thus developed, will then be used in
73     the following GLEPs to describe a comprehensive security solution for
74     this distribution process that prevents trivial attacks and increases
75     the difficulty on more complex attacks.</p>
76     </div>
77     <div class="section" id="motivation">
78     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id2">Motivation</a></h1>
79     <p>Since at mid-2002 (see endnote: &quot;History of tree-signing in Gentoo&quot;),
80     many discussions have taken place on the gentoo-dev mailing list and in
81     many other places to design and implement a security strategy for the
82     distribution of files by the Gentoo project.</p>
83     <p>Usually the goal of such proposals was and is to be able to securely
84     identify the data provided by Gentoo and prevent third parties (like a
85     compromised mirror) from delivering harmful data (be it as modified
86     ebuilds, executable shell code or any other form) to the users of the
87     Gentoo MetaDistribution.</p>
88     <p>These strategies can neither prevent a malicious or compromised upstream
89     from injecting &quot;bad&quot; programs, nor can they stop a rogue developer from
90     committing malicious ebuilds. What they can do is to reduce the attack
91     vectors so that for example a compromised mirror will be detected and no
92     tainted data will be executed on user's systems.</p>
93     <p>Gentoo's software distribution system as it presently stands, contains a
94     number of security shortcomings. The last discussion on the gentoo-dev
95     mailing list [<a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/38363">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/38363</a>]
96     contains a good overview of most of the issues. Summarized here:</p>
97     <blockquote>
98     <ul class="simple">
99     <li>Unverifiable executable code distributed:
100     The most obvious instance are eclasses, but there are many other bits
101     of the tree that are not signed at all right now. Modifying that data
102     is trivial.</li>
103     <li>Shortcomings of existing Manifest verification
104     A lack and enforcement of policies, combined with suboptimal support
105     in portage, makes it trivial to modify or replace the existing
106     Manifests.</li>
107     <li>Vulnerability of existing infrastructure to attacks.
108     The previous two items make it possible for a skilled attacker to
109     design an attack and then execute it against specific portions of
110     existing infrastructure (eg: Compromise a country-local rsync mirror,
111     and totally replace a package and it's Manifest).</li>
112     </ul>
113     </blockquote>
114     </div>
115     <div class="section" id="specification">
116     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id3">Specification</a></h1>
117     <p>Security is not something that can be considered in isolation. It is
118     both an ongoing holistic process and lessons learnt by examining
119     previous shortcomings.</p>
120     <div class="section" id="system-elements">
121     <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id4">System Elements</a></h2>
122     <dl class="docutils">
123     <dt>There are a few entities to be considered:</dt>
124     <dd><ul class="first last simple">
125     <li>Upstream. The people who provide the program(s) or data we wish to
126     distribute.</li>
127     <li>Gentoo Developers. The people that package and test the things
128     provided by Upstream.</li>
129     <li>Gentoo Infrastructure. The people and hardware that allow the revision
130     control of metadata and distribution of the data and metadata provided
131     by Developers and Upstream.</li>
132     <li>Gentoo Mirrors. Hardware provided by external contributors that is not
133     or only marginally controlled by Gentoo Infrastructure. Needed to
134     achieve the scalability and performance needed for the substantial
135     Gentoo user base.</li>
136     <li>Gentoo Users. The people that use the Gentoo MetaDistribution.</li>
137     </ul>
138     </dd>
139     </dl>
140     <p>The data described here is usually programs and data files provided by
141     upstream; as this is a rather large amount of data it is usually
142     distributed over http or ftp from Gentoo Mirrors. This data is usually
143     labeled as &quot;distfiles&quot;. Metadata is all information describing how to
144     manipulate that data - it is usually called &quot;The Tree&quot; or &quot;The Portage
145     Tree&quot;, consists of many ebuilds, eclasses and supporting files and is
146     usually distributed over rsync. The central rsync servers are controlled
147     by Gentoo Infrastructure, but many third-party rsync mirrors exist that
148     help to reduce the load on those central servers. These extra mirrors
149     are not maintained by Gentoo Infrastructure.</p>
150     <p>Attacks may be conducted against any of these entities. Obviously
151     direct attacks against Upstream and Users are outside of the scope of
152     this series of GLEPs as they are not in any way controlled or
153     controllable by Gentoo - however attacks using Gentoo as a conduit
154     (including malicous mirrors) must be considered.</p>
155     </div>
156     <div class="section" id="processes">
157     <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id5">Processes</a></h2>
158     <p>There are two major processes in the distribution of Gentoo, where
159     security needs to be implemented:</p>
160     <blockquote>
161     <ul class="simple">
162     <li>Developer commits to version control systems controlled by
163     Infrastructure.</li>
164     <li>Tree and distfile distribution from Infrastructure to Users, via the
165     mirrors (this includes both HTTP and rsync distribution).</li>
166     </ul>
167     </blockquote>
168     <p>Both processes need their security improved. In [GLEPxx+2] we will discuss
169     how to improve the security of the first process. The relatively
170     speaking simpler process of file distribution will be described in
171     [GLEPxx+1]. Since it can be implemented without having to change the
172     workflow and behaviour of developers we hope to get it done in a
173     reasonably short timeframe.</p>
174     </div>
175     <div class="section" id="attacks-against-processes">
176     <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id6">Attacks against Processes</a></h2>
177     <p>Attacks against the process #1 may be as complex as a malicious or
178     compromised developer (stolen SSH keys, rooted systems), or as simple as
179     a patch from a user that does a little more than it claims, and is not
180     adequately reviewed.</p>
181     <p>Attacks against the process #2 may be as simple as a single rooted
182     mirror, distributing a modified tree to the users of that mirror - or
183     some alteration of upstream sources. These attacks have a low cost and
184     are very hard to discover unless all distributed data is transparently
185     signed.</p>
186     <p>A simple example of such an attack and a partial solution for eclasses
187     is presented in [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/24677">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/24677</a>
188     ]. It shows quite well that any non-Gentoo controlled rsync mirror can
189     modify executable code; as much of this code is per default run as root
190     a malicious mirror could compromise hundreds of systems per day - if
191     cloaked well enough, such an attack could run for weeks before being
192     noticed. As there are no effective safeguards right now users are left
193     with the choice of either syncing from the sometimes slow or even
194     unresponsive Gentoo-controlled rsync mirrors or risk being compromised
195     by syncing from one of the community-provided mirrors. We will show that
196     protection against this class of attacks is very easy to implement with
197     little added cost.</p>
198     <p>At the level of mirrors, addition of malicious content is not the only
199     attack. As discussed by Cappos et al [C08a,C08b], an attacker may use
200     exclusion and replay attacks, possibly only on a specific subset of
201     user to extend the window of opportunity on another exploit.</p>
202     </div>
203     <div class="section" id="security-for-processes">
204     <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id7">Security for Processes</a></h2>
205     <p>Protection for process #1 can never be complete (without major
206     modifications to our development process), as a malicious developer is
207     fully authorized to provide materials for distribution. Partial
208     protection can be gained by Portage and Infrastructure changes, but the
209     real improvements needed are developer education and continued
210     vigilance. This is further discussed in [GLEPxx+2].</p>
211     <p>This security is still limited in scope - protection against compromised
212     developers is very expensive, and even complex systems like peer review
213     / multiple signatures can be broken by colluding developers. There are many
214     issues, be it social or technical, that increase the cost of such
215     measures a lot while only providing marginal security gains. Any
216     implementation proposal must be carefully analysed to find the best
217     security to developer hassle ratio.</p>
218     <p>Protection for process #2 is a different matter entirely. While it also
219     cannot be complete (as the User may be attacked directly), we can ensure
220     that Gentoo infrastructure and the mirrors are not a weak point. This
221     objective is actually much closer than it seems already - most of the
222     work has been completed for other things!. This is further discussed in
223     [GLEP58]. As this process has the most to gain in security, and the
224     most immediate impact, it should be implemented before or at the same
225     time as any changes to process #1. Security at this layer is already
226     available in the signed daily snapshots, but we can extend it to cover
227     the rsync mirrors as well.</p>
228     <p>Requirements pertaining to and management of keys (OpenPGP or otherwise)
229     is an issue that affects both processes, and is broken out into a
230     separate GLEP due to the technical complexity of the subject.
231     This deals with everything including: types of keys to use; usage
232     guidelines; procedures for managing signatures and trust for keys,
233     including cases of lost (destroyed) and stolen (or otherwise turned
234     malicious) keys.</p>
235     </div>
236     </div>
237     <div class="section" id="backwards-compatibility">
238     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id8">Backwards Compatibility</a></h1>
239     <p>As an informational GLEP, this document has no direct impact on
240     backwards compatibility. However the related in-depth documents may
241     delve further into any issues of backwards compatibility.</p>
242     </div>
243     <div class="section" id="endnote-history-of-tree-signing-in-gentoo">
244     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id9">Endnote: History of tree-signing in Gentoo</a></h1>
245     <p>This is a brief review of every previous tree-signing discussion, the
246     stuff before 2003-04-03 was very hard to come by, so I apologize if I've
247     missed a discussion (I would like to hear about it). I think there was
248     a very early private discussion with drobbins in 2001, as it's vaguely
249     referenced, but I can't find it anywhere.</p>
250     <p>2002-06-06, gentoo-dev mailing list, users first ask about signing of
251     ebuilds:
252     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/1950">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/1950</a> ]</p>
253     <p>2003-01-13, gentoo-dev mailing list, &quot;Re: Verifying portage is from
254     Gentoo&quot; - Paul de Vrieze (pauldv):
255     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/6619/focus=6619">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/6619/focus=6619</a> ]</p>
256     <p>2003-04, GWN articles announcing tree signing:
257     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20030407-newsletter.xml#doc_chap1_sect3">http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20030407-newsletter.xml#doc_chap1_sect3</a> ]
258     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20030421-newsletter.xml#doc_chap1_sect2">http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20030421-newsletter.xml#doc_chap1_sect2</a> ]</p>
259     <p>2003-04, gentoo-security mailing list, &quot;The state of ebuild signing
260     in portage&quot; - Joshua Brindle (method), the first suggestion of signed Manifests,
261     but also an unusual key-trust model:
262     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=gentoo-security&amp;m=105073449619892&amp;w=2">http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=gentoo-security&amp;m=105073449619892&amp;w=2</a> ]</p>
263     <p>2003-04, gentoo-core mailing list, &quot;New Digests and Signing -- Attempted Explanation&quot;</p>
264     <p>2003-06, gentoo-core mailing list, &quot;A quick guide to GPG and key
265     signing.&quot; - This overview was one of the first to help developers see
266     how to use their devs, and was mainly intended for keysigning meetups.</p>
267     <p>2003-08-09, gentoo-core mailing list, &quot;Ebuild signing&quot; - status query,
268     with an not very positive response, delayed by Nick Jones (carpaski)
269     getting rooted and a safe cleanup taking a long time to affect.</p>
270     <p>2003-12-02, gentoo-core mailing list, &quot;Report: rsync1.it.gentoo.org compromised&quot;</p>
271     <p>2003-12-03, gentoo-core mailing list, &quot;Signing of ebuilds&quot;</p>
272     <p>2003-12-07, gentoo-core mailing list, &quot;gpg signing of Manifests&quot;, thread
273     includes the first GnuPG signing prototype code, by Robin H. Johnson
274     (robbat2). Andrew Cowie (rac) also produces a proof-of-concept around
275     this time.</p>
276     <p>2004-03-23, gentoo-dev mailing list, &quot;2004.1 will not include a secure
277     portage&quot; - Kurt Lieber (klieber). Signing is nowhere near ready for
278     2004.1 release, and it is realized that it there is insufficient traction
279     and the problem is very large. Many arguments about the checking and
280     verification side. First warning signs that MD5 might be broken in the
281     near future.
282     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/16876">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/16876</a> ]</p>
283     <p>2004-03-25, gentoo-dev mailing list, &quot;Redux: 2004.1 will not include a
284     secure portage&quot; - Robin H. Johnson (robbat2). Yet another proposal,
285     summarizing the points of the previous thread and this time trying to
286     track the various weaknesses.
287     <a class="reference external" href="http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=gentoo-dev&amp;m=108017986400698&amp;w=2">http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=gentoo-dev&amp;m=108017986400698&amp;w=2</a></p>
288     <p>2004-05-31, Gentoo managers meeting, portage team reports that
289     FEATURES=sign is now available, but large questions still exist over
290     verification policies and procedures, as well as handing of keys.
291     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/manager-meetings/logs/2004/20040531.txt">http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/manager-meetings/logs/2004/20040531.txt</a> ]</p>
292     <p>2005-01-17, gentoo-core mailing list, &quot;Global objective for 2005 :
293     portage signing&quot;. Thierry Carrez (koon) suggests that more go into
294     tree-signing work. Problems at the time later in the thread show that
295     the upstream gpg-agent is not ready, amongst other minor implementation
296     issues.</p>
297     <p>2005-02-20, gentoo-dev mailing list, &quot;post-LWE 2005&quot; - Brian Harring
298     (ferringb). A discussion on the ongoing lack of signing, and that
299     eclasses and profiles need to be signed as well, but this seems to be
300     hanging on GLEP33 in the meantime.
301     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/25556/focus=25596">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/25556/focus=25596</a> ]</p>
302     <p>2005-03-08, gentoo-core mailing list, &quot;gpg manifest signing stats&quot;.
303     Informal statistics show that 26% of packages in the tree include a
304     signed Manifest. Questions are raised regarding key types, and key
305     policies.</p>
306     <p>2005-11-16, gentoo-core mailing list, &quot;Gentoo key signing practices and
307     official Gentoo keyring&quot;. A discussion of key handling and other
308     outstanding issues, also mentioning partial Manifests, as well as a
309     comparision between the signing procedures used in Slackware, Debian and
310     RPM-based distros.</p>
311     <p>2005-11-19, gentoo-portage-dev mailing list, &quot;Manifest signing&quot; - Robin
312     H. Johnson (robbat2) follows up the previous -core posting, discussion
313     implementation issues.
314     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.portage.devel/1401">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.portage.devel/1401</a> ]</p>
315     <p>2006-05-18, gentoo-dev mailing list, &quot;Signing everything, for fun and for
316     profit&quot; - Patrick Lauer (bonsaikitten). Later brings up that Manifest2 is needed for
317     getting everything right.
318     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/38363">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/38363</a> ]</p>
319     <p>2006-05-19, gentoo-dev mailing list, &quot;Re: Signing everything, for fun and for
320     profit&quot; - Robin H. Johnson (robbat2). An introduction into some of the
321     OpenPGP standard, with a focus on how it affects file signing, key
322     signing, management of keys, and revocation.
323     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/38363/focus=38371">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/38363/focus=38371</a> ]</p>
324     <p>2007-04-11, gentoo-dev mailing list, &quot;Re: <em>DEVELOPMENT</em> mail list,
325     right?&quot; - Robin H. Johnson (robbat2). A progress report on these very
326     GLEPs.
327     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/47752/focus=47908">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/47752/focus=47908</a> ]</p>
328     <p>2007-07-02, gentoo-dev mailing list, &quot;Re: Re: Nominations open for the
329     Gentoo Council 2007/08&quot; - Robin H. Johnson (robbat2). Another progress
330     report.
331     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/50029/focus=50043">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/50029/focus=50043</a> ]</p>
332     <p>2007-11-30, portage-dev alias, &quot;Manifest2 and Tree-signing&quot; - Robin H.
333     Johnson (robbat2). First review thread for these GLEPs, many suggestions
334     from Marius Mauch (genone).</p>
335     <p>2008-04-03, gentoo-dev mailing list, &quot;Re: Monthly Gentoo Council
336     Reminder for April&quot; - Ciaran McCreesh (ciaranm). A thread in which
337     Ciaran reminds everybody that simply making all the developers sign the
338     tree is not sufficent to prevent all attacks.
339     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/55508/focus=55542">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/55508/focus=55542</a> ]</p>
340     <p>2008-07-01, gentoo-portage-dev mailing list, &quot;proto-GLEPS for
341     Tree-signing&quot; - Robin H. Johnson (robbat2). Thread looking for review
342     input from Portage developers.
343     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.portage.devel/2686">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.portage.devel/2686</a> ]</p>
344     <p>2008-07-12, gentoo-portage-dev mailing list, &quot;proto-GLEPS for
345     Tree-signing, take 2&quot; - Robin H. Johnson (robbat2). Integration of
346     changes from previous review, and a prototype for the signing code.
347     zmedico also posts a patch for a verification prototype.
348     [ <a class="reference external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.portage.devel/2709">http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.portage.devel/2709</a> ]</p>
349     </div>
350     <div class="section" id="thanks">
351     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id10">Thanks</a></h1>
352     <p>I'd like to thank Patrick Lauer (bonsaikitten) for prodding me
353     to keep working on the tree-signing project, as well helping with
354     spelling, grammar, research (esp. tracking down every possible
355     vulnerability that has been mentioned in past discussions, and
356     integrating them in this overview).</p>
357     </div>
358     <div class="section" id="references">
359     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id11">References</a></h1>
360     <dl class="docutils">
361     <dt>[C08a] Cappos, J et al. (2008). &quot;Package Management Security&quot;.</dt>
362     <dd>University of Arizona Technical Report TR08-02. Available online
363     from: <a class="reference external" href="ftp://ftp.cs.arizona.edu/reports/2008/TR08-02.pdf">ftp://ftp.cs.arizona.edu/reports/2008/TR08-02.pdf</a></dd>
364     <dt>[C08b] Cappos, J et al. (2008). &quot;Attacks on Package Managers&quot;</dt>
365     <dd>Available online at:
366     <a class="reference external" href="http://www.cs.arizona.edu/people/justin/packagemanagersecurity/">http://www.cs.arizona.edu/people/justin/packagemanagersecurity/</a></dd>
367     </dl>
368     </div>
369     <div class="section" id="copyright">
370     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id12">Copyright</a></h1>
371     <p>Copyright (c) 2006 by Robin Hugh Johnson. This material may be
372     distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the
373     Open Publication License, v1.0.</p>
374     <p>vim: tw=72 ts=2 expandtab:</p>
375     </div>
376    
377     </div>
378     <div class="footer">
379     <hr class="footer" />
380     <a class="reference external" href="glep-0057.txt">View document source</a>.
381 robbat2 1.2 Generated on: 2008-10-22 18:02 UTC.
382 cardoe 1.1 Generated by <a class="reference external" href="http://docutils.sourceforge.net/">Docutils</a> from <a class="reference external" href="http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html">reStructuredText</a> source.
383    
384     </div>
385     </body>
386     </html>

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