hackage, cabal-get, and security
simonmar at microsoft.com
Tue May 17 10:40:14 EDT 2005
On 17 May 2005 15:19, S. Alexander Jacobson wrote:
> My solution in SearchPath (released yesterday) is to rely on a
> combination of HTTPS and links.
I don't want to start another huge debate, but I think your solution at
least lacks support for some fundamental (IMO) features:
- pre-compiled libraries
- FFI (external C libraries & bundled C code)
What's your story for these? e.g. what you do intend to happen when
someone imports Graphics.UI.WX?
> The user selects module directories that they trust. They access that
> directory via HTTPS. The module directory maps module names to
> package/module URLs. The user can decide that they only want to
> retrieve via HTTPS.
> This is effectively a web of trust model, but the only key management
> needed is getting an SSL cert from a CA like Verisign or Thawte.
> The open question here is whether it is easier to convince people to
> serve modules via HTTPS web servers or whether they prefer gnupg key
> management. A reason to believe that the former will be preferable to
> the later is that people can easily delegate SSL hosting to others.
> Delegating gnupg key management is non-trivial.
> S. Alexander Jacobson tel:917-770-6565 http://alexjacobson.com
> On Mon, 16 May 2005, Isaac Jones wrote:
>> At the request of Dominic Steinitz, I'll outline the threats that I
>> think this proposal protects against.
>> The signing of packages prevents a number of attacks between the
>> packager and the server:
>> 1) Accidentally or purposely hijacking a package that is signed by
>> (belongs to) someone else.
>> 2) Uploading a malicious package to replace someone else's good
>> 3) Man-in-the-middle attcks between the packager and Hackage.
>> Checking signatures on the client side prevents:
>> 1) Man-in-the-middle attcks between hackage and the client
>> 2) Automatic installation of anonymous malicious packages
>> Building a trusted network of keys prevents:
>> 1) Someone creating a key pretending to be someone else
>> 2) Unchecked anonymous uploads (running arbitrary code from an
>> unknown source)
>> One question that comes up is: how does the so-called "web of trust"
>> help out with this situation? The signing of keys ties the identity
>> of an individual (via their state-issued identification) to a
>> particular key. Now if someone attempts one of the above attacks,
>> after being "trusted" we know who they are in real life. So it's not
>> really a "web of trust" but more like a "web of identity". We will
>> need to put procedures in place for handling a variety of
>> situations, like loss of trust, etc.
>> This proposal doesn't cover all of that, but it puts a bit of
>> structure into place to raise the bar for an attacker sufficiently
>> high in my opinion, and gives the end-users the tools they need to be
>> as paranoid as they care to be.
>> Libraries mailing list
>> Libraries at haskell.org
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