[Haskell-cafe] Ticking time bomb

Ertugrul Söylemez es at ertes.de
Thu Jan 31 11:06:32 CET 2013

Joachim Breitner <mail at joachim-breitner.de> wrote:

> > And that may even be more harmful, because an insecure system with a
> > false sense of security is worse than an insecure system alone.
> >
> > Let's do it properly.
> but don’t overengineer it either. Simply adding to hackage the
> possibility to store a .asc file next to the tar.gz file that contains
> the cryptographic signature would be a great start, and allow us to
> develop a WoT model later on.
> (I try to resist from wondering whether this could go into hackage1 or
> only hackage2, and in the latter case, whether that means that we
> actually have the time to overengineer the system.)
> In fact, a lot would already be gained by a simple „warn if foo-2.0 is
> signed with a different key than the version of foo already installed“
> on cabal-install and people having a closer look at uploads from
> different people. Not much infrastructure needed there.

That was exactly my suggestion actually.  It requires the ability to
make and check signatures.  The making can be done with external tools
like GnuPG, but the checking has to be done by cabal-install.  To detect
changed keys there also needs to be a trust database, which can be a
simple directory in ~/.cabal/ where files are named after the
fingerprint of the key it contains.

The most important part is a sensible user interface.  The whole process
should be invisible to the user, until there is a signature error.  The
first installation of a package will actually generate a handful of
signature errors, because the keys are not known yet.

This shouldn't be too hard to implement and requires only a small change
to Hackage and cabal-install's upload command to begin.


Not to be or to be and (not to be or to be and (not to be or to be and
(not to be or to be and ... that is the list monad.
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