Contents of /xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0014.txt

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Sat Oct 14 02:54:24 2006 UTC (12 years, 5 months ago) by genone
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overdue status update

1 GLEP: 14
2 Title: security updates based on GLSA
3 Version: $Revision: 1.5 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2004/10/26 00:21:28 $
5 Author: Marius Mauch <genone@genone.de>,
6 Status: Accepted
7 Type: Standards Track
8 Content-Type: text/x-rst
9 Created: 18 Aug 2003
10 Post-History: 22-Aug-2003, 24-Aug-2003, 10-Nov-2003, 25-Oct-2004
11 Requires: 21
13 Abstract
14 ========
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
20 Status Update
21 =============
23 Preliminary implementation ``glsa-check`` in gentoolkit, final implementation
24 pending set support in portage (GLEP 21).
27 Motivation
28 ==========
30 Automatic checking for security updates is a often requested feature for Gentoo.
31 Implementing it will enable users to fix security holes without reading every
32 security announcement. It's also a feature that is often required in enterprise
33 environments.
36 Proposed change
37 ===============
39 Update tool
40 -----------
42 The coding part of this GLEP is a update tool that reads a GLSA, verifies its
43 GPG signature, checks if the system is affected by it and executes one of the
44 following actions, depending on user preferences:
46 - run all steps necessary to fix the security hole, including package updates and
47 daemon restarts.
48 - instruct the user how to fix the security hole.
49 - print the GLSA so the user can get more information if desired.
51 Once this tool is implemented and well tested it can be integrated into portage.
52 A prototype `implementation`_ for this tool exists.
55 GLSA format
56 -----------
58 The GLSA format needs to be specified, I suggest using XML for that to simplify
59 parsing and later extensions. See `implementation`_ for a sample DTD. The format
60 has to be compatible with the update tool of course. If necessary a converter
61 tool or an editor could be written for people not comfortable with XML (update:
62 a QT based editor for the GLSA format written by plasmaroo exists in the
63 gentoo-projects repository). Every GLSA has to be GPG signed by the responsible
64 developer, who has to be a member of the security herd.
67 GLSA release process
68 --------------------
70 Additional to sending the GLSA to the gentoo-announce mailing list it has to be
71 stored on a HTTP/FTP server and in the portage tree. I'd suggest a script should
72 be used to release a GLSA that will:
74 - check the GLSA for correctness
75 - sign the GLSA with the developers GPG key
76 - send a mail to gentoo-announce with the XML GLSA and a plaintext version attached
77 - upload it to www.gentoo.org/security/en/glsa (via cvs commit)
78 - put it on the rsync server (via cvs commit)
79 - notify the moderators on the forums to make an announcement
82 Portage changes
83 ---------------
85 Until the `update tool`_ is integrated into portage there will be no code changes
86 to portage. The update tool might require a few new configuration options, these
87 could be placed in make.conf or another config file in /etc/portage.
90 Rationale
91 =========
93 The lack of automated security updates for Gentoo is one of the most often requested
94 features for portage as it is one of the standard features of other distributions.
95 As Gentoo already provides GLSAs for important security bugs it is only natural
96 to use these to implement this feature.
98 To parse a GLSA in a program the format needs to be specified and a parser has
99 to be written. I suggest the use of XML for future GLSAs for the following reasons:
101 - can be parsed and validated with existing libraries
102 - easy to extend while maintaining backwards compatibility
103 - tools can convert XML GLSAs in other formats, the other direction would be harder
104 - websites can use XSLT to markup GLSAs
106 Putting the GLSAs in the portage tree allows all users to check their systems
107 for security updates without taking more actions and simplifies later integration
108 of the update tool into portage. For security minded persons the GLSAs are
109 available on a HTTP server to ease the load of the rsync servers.
111 To verify the signatures of the GLSAs the public keys of the developers should be
112 available in the portage tree and on the HTTP server. The verification is necessary
113 to prevent exploits by fake GLSAs.
116 Implementation
117 ==============
119 A prototype implementation (including the update tool, a DTD and a sample
120 XMLified GLSA) exists at http://gentoo.devel-net.org/glsa/ and in the
121 gentoo-projects/gentoo-security/GLSA repository. This GLEP is based
122 on that implementation, though it can be changed or rewritten if necessary.
125 Backwards compatibility
126 =======================
128 The current `GLSA release process`_ needs to be replaced with this proposal. It
129 would be nice if old GLSAs would be transformed into XML as well, but that is
130 not a requirement for this GLEP.
133 Copyright
134 =========
136 This document has been placed in the public domain.

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