Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-buildservice (349 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-buildservice] Re: How secure is openSUSE build service?
  • From: Adrian Schröter <adrian@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 09:50:04 +0100
  • Message-id: <200711010950.05039.adrian@xxxxxxx>
On Thursday 01 November 2007 09:33:40 wrote Aniruddha:
On Thu, 2007-11-01 at 09:03 +0100, Adrian Schröter wrote:
Putting lots of packages into one large repo does not help you, as long
you do not add extra review mechanisms. Which can't be that extensive, if
you increase the number of packages.

Since the are also different requeriments (you want to be more care full
on your critical server than on your test systems) it is better to have
multiple repositories with different requirements for the trust and let
the user decide.

I am not sure I am getting your point.

I mean, each user has a different level on requirements. And he may even
decides different for his different systems.

This makes it hard to define one level and one single policy for us at
openSUSE, since the result of the highest security requirement would be a
very small distro with not really up2date software versions.

There are two extrems from "highest security needed" up to to "I do not care,
it is just for test or I just want the latest version".

So we can not define a single policy, but we can help the users to decide

Compare this to the openSUSE buildservice where everyone can get an
account start a repo and wreck havoc because there aren't any safety

Right, but only stuff in home:* can get added by them. So you are already
one step more secure when you do not use these repos.

Thank you. This is a very valuable lessen. What would be the best way to
communicate this to the user? And does this mean that the non home:*
are checked by openSUSE devs? Does this also include security fixes?

In general, each project can have its own policy. I agree the user is a bit
lost atm and it is hard for him to decide how much he can trust which one.

Security fixes are only done via version upgrades in the repositories atm.
(unlike SLE or openSUSE distros where an extra update repo with backported
fixes is available)

Since everything in the build service is free software you can always
check the source the packages are built from yourself if you wish,
and so can anyone else, which provides as much as a safeguard as

This can be doen for a few packages that you manually compile, however
openSUSE relies so heavily on the buildservice for functionality that
it becomes a daunting task to check all these packages yourself.

All packages checked into the main distro get a review. This is also the
reaons why it takes sometime until a new version appears there.

I think it would be best to enlarge the packages that belong in the main
distro. Since openSUSE became open source this really should be possible
(one team focus on packaging another one putting the packages together
for a new distro).

This conflicts with high security requirements ...

For example, SLES (or most secure product) has only ~ 50% of the packages of
openSUSE. Simply because it is not doable to apply all required rulse for
more packages.

openSUSE distro has some lower riquerments, but still more than any build
service project. So, if you can wait until a new version gets added there
this is the most secure way.

Unlike SLE and openSUSE, the build service repos just get a peer review only.
This means, if there is something evil, either the packager needs to react
after reporting (or we as admins, esp. if the packager is the evil guy).

What is indeed missing is a peer review and rating system to help the
users to decide which repos to trust or not...

Does this have any chance to be implemented? I missed it on the
roadmap ;)

It was unfortunatly not as important as other stuff listed there, so I can not
promise any date right now.

However, if someone is willing to work on it, we will help him of course !

I personally consider this approach more secure than a one large repo
where everybody gets easily an account no one is really doing source
reviews of new submitted tar balls. One the other hand, our modell still
allows that new packagers can start immediatly and make their stuff
available. It is up to the user to install it or not. (and keep in mind
that downloading the source and install yourself is maybe even more
unsecure, because there is not even a packager review).

You're right about that. I do think that some improvements we can
greatly improve the security of the build service:

-Make it more difficult to add home:* repositories

Make something more difficult just creates new hazzle and bugreports, but does
not really help the security.

-Add some kind of review and comments section to value to repositories.

How should we proceed to make this happen?

We have a minimal base for the trust handling with our new user directory. If
someone wants to extend this, that users can be rated by other users and that
a certain trusted group is allowed to change user trust leveling it would
help a lot.

We can automatically show the level of trust for a project afterwards, if we
know how much we can trust the people with write access there. (additionally
they should be allowed do downgrade their project as well, if they do not
trust it much either, because they downloaded some untrusted source ;)

So, if you would like to work on this, we are happy to help you. The source is
part of the opensuse svn on forge already and we can make a (irc?) meeting
where we discuss details and the design a bit more.

Does anyone have interesst in this ?



Adrian Schroeter
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, GF: Markus Rex, HRB 16746 (AG Nürnberg)
email: adrian@xxxxxxx

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