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12 <title>GLEP 14 -- security updates based on GLSA</title>
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25 [<b><a href="./glep-0014.txt">GLEP Source</a></b>]
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27 <div class="document">
28 <table class="rfc2822 field-list" frame="void" rules="none">
29 <col class="field-name" />
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31 <tbody valign="top">
32 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">14</td>
33 </tr>
34 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">security updates based on GLSA</td>
35 </tr>
36 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.4</td>
37 </tr>
38 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Last-Modified:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0014.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2003/11/10 19:21:57</a></td>
39 </tr>
40 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Marius Mauch &lt;genone&#32;&#97;t&#32;genone.de&gt;,</td>
41 </tr>
42 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Accepted</td>
43 </tr>
44 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Standards Track</td>
45 </tr>
46 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Content-Type:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="glep-0012.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
47 </tr>
48 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">18 Aug 2003</td>
49 </tr>
50 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">22-Aug-2003, 24-Aug-2003, 10-Nov-2003, 25-Oct-2004</td>
51 </tr>
52 </tbody>
53 </table>
54 <hr />
55 <div class="contents topic" id="contents">
56 <p class="topic-title first"><a name="contents">Contents</a></p>
57 <ul class="simple">
58 <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id2" name="id2">Abstract</a></li>
59 <li><a class="reference" href="#status-update" id="id3" name="id3">Status Update</a></li>
60 <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id4" name="id4">Motivation</a></li>
61 <li><a class="reference" href="#proposed-change" id="id5" name="id5">Proposed change</a><ul>
62 <li><a class="reference" href="#update-tool" id="id6" name="id6">Update tool</a></li>
63 <li><a class="reference" href="#glsa-format" id="id7" name="id7">GLSA format</a></li>
64 <li><a class="reference" href="#glsa-release-process" id="id8" name="id8">GLSA release process</a></li>
65 <li><a class="reference" href="#portage-changes" id="id9" name="id9">Portage changes</a></li>
66 </ul>
67 </li>
68 <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id10" name="id10">Rationale</a></li>
69 <li><a class="reference" href="#implementation" id="id11" name="id11">Implementation</a></li>
70 <li><a class="reference" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id12" name="id12">Backwards compatibility</a></li>
71 <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id13" name="id13">Copyright</a></li>
72 </ul>
73 </div>
74 <div class="section" id="abstract">
75 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id2" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
76 <p>There is currently no automatic way to check a Gentoo system for identified
77 security holes or auto-apply security fixes. This GLEP proposes a way to deal
78 with this issue</p>
79 </div>
80 <div class="section" id="status-update">
81 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id3" name="status-update">Status Update</a></h1>
82 <p>Beta implementation in gentoolkit.</p>
83 </div>
84 <div class="section" id="motivation">
85 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id4" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
86 <p>Automatic checking for security updates is a often requested feature for Gentoo.
87 Implementing it will enable users to fix security holes without reading every
88 security announcement. It's also a feature that is often required in enterprise
89 environments.</p>
90 </div>
91 <div class="section" id="proposed-change">
92 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id5" name="proposed-change">Proposed change</a></h1>
93 <div class="section" id="update-tool">
94 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id6" name="update-tool">Update tool</a></h2>
95 <p>The coding part of this GLEP is a update tool that reads a GLSA, verifies its
96 GPG signature, checks if the system is affected by it and executes one of the
97 following actions, depending on user preferences:</p>
98 <ul class="simple">
99 <li>run all steps necessary to fix the security hole, including package updates and
100 daemon restarts.</li>
101 <li>instruct the user how to fix the security hole.</li>
102 <li>print the GLSA so the user can get more information if desired.</li>
103 </ul>
104 <p>Once this tool is implemented and well tested it can be integrated into portage.
105 A prototype <a class="reference" href="#implementation">implementation</a> for this tool exists.</p>
106 </div>
107 <div class="section" id="glsa-format">
108 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id7" name="glsa-format">GLSA format</a></h2>
109 <p>The GLSA format needs to be specified, I suggest using XML for that to simplify
110 parsing and later extensions. See <a class="reference" href="#implementation">implementation</a> for a sample DTD. The format
111 has to be compatible with the update tool of course. If necessary a converter
112 tool or an editor could be written for people not comfortable with XML (update:
113 a QT based editor for the GLSA format written by plasmaroo exists in the
114 gentoo-projects repository). Every GLSA has to be GPG signed by the responsible
115 developer, who has to be a member of the security herd.</p>
116 </div>
117 <div class="section" id="glsa-release-process">
118 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id8" name="glsa-release-process">GLSA release process</a></h2>
119 <p>Additional to sending the GLSA to the gentoo-announce mailing list it has to be
120 stored on a HTTP/FTP server and in the portage tree. I'd suggest a script should
121 be used to release a GLSA that will:</p>
122 <ul class="simple">
123 <li>check the GLSA for correctness</li>
124 <li>sign the GLSA with the developers GPG key</li>
125 <li>send a mail to gentoo-announce with the XML GLSA and a plaintext version attached</li>
126 <li>upload it to www.gentoo.org/security/en/glsa (via cvs commit)</li>
127 <li>put it on the rsync server (via cvs commit)</li>
128 <li>notify the moderators on the forums to make an announcement</li>
129 </ul>
130 </div>
131 <div class="section" id="portage-changes">
132 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id9" name="portage-changes">Portage changes</a></h2>
133 <p>Until the <a class="reference" href="#update-tool">update tool</a> is integrated into portage there will be no code changes
134 to portage. The update tool might require a few new configuration options, these
135 could be placed in make.conf or another config file in /etc/portage.</p>
136 </div>
137 </div>
138 <div class="section" id="rationale">
139 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id10" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
140 <p>The lack of automated security updates for Gentoo is one of the most often requested
141 features for portage as it is one of the standard features of other distributions.
142 As Gentoo already provides GLSAs for important security bugs it is only natural
143 to use these to implement this feature.</p>
144 <p>To parse a GLSA in a program the format needs to be specified and a parser has
145 to be written. I suggest the use of XML for future GLSAs for the following reasons:</p>
146 <ul class="simple">
147 <li>can be parsed and validated with existing libraries</li>
148 <li>easy to extend while maintaining backwards compatibility</li>
149 <li>tools can convert XML GLSAs in other formats, the other direction would be harder</li>
150 <li>websites can use XSLT to markup GLSAs</li>
151 </ul>
152 <p>Putting the GLSAs in the portage tree allows all users to check their systems
153 for security updates without taking more actions and simplifies later integration
154 of the update tool into portage. For security minded persons the GLSAs are
155 available on a HTTP server to ease the load of the rsync servers.</p>
156 <p>To verify the signatures of the GLSAs the public keys of the developers should be
157 available in the portage tree and on the HTTP server. The verification is necessary
158 to prevent exploits by fake GLSAs.</p>
159 </div>
160 <div class="section" id="implementation">
161 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id11" name="implementation">Implementation</a></h1>
162 <p>A prototype implementation (including the update tool, a DTD and a sample
163 XMLified GLSA) exists at <a class="reference" href="http://gentoo.devel-net.org/glsa/">http://gentoo.devel-net.org/glsa/</a> and in the
164 gentoo-projects/gentoo-security/GLSA repository. This GLEP is based
165 on that implementation, though it can be changed or rewritten if necessary.</p>
166 </div>
167 <div class="section" id="backwards-compatibility">
168 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id12" name="backwards-compatibility">Backwards compatibility</a></h1>
169 <p>The current <a class="reference" href="#glsa-release-process">GLSA release process</a> needs to be replaced with this proposal. It
170 would be nice if old GLSAs would be transformed into XML as well, but that is
171 not a requirement for this GLEP.</p>
172 </div>
173 <div class="section" id="copyright">
174 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id13" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
175 <p>This document has been placed in the public domain.</p>
176 </div>
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