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

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