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Sat, 20 Nov 2004

brave new wor^Wgabe

As you may have noticed, freedesktop.org sort of got compromised a few days back. By 'sort of', I do, of course, mean 'totally'. Adam Conrad noticed a few thousand bounces in his inbox courtesy of being on www-data, and that they were all for spams being sent as www-data. Whoops. We started hunting for an insecure formmail.pl, but when we took a look at lsof and discovered an IRC proxy running, we decided it was something more insidious. From there, the machine got killed to all access but ours, and we started tracking down the point of entry. It turned out that it was compromised via a hole in TWiki, but no news was to be found on the TWiki site about this hole, nor was there a new release. How not to do security 101.

At this point, we came to the conclusion that all we could do from here was reinstall, so Keith got a call (from an Australian mobile, roaming into the UK, to a US mobile; I fear to think how much that cost) letting him know the score. Local muscle on site, we dug in and prepared for a reinstall. Most people familiar with the freedesktop.org setup (and my writings on here about 'ill') know that the setup was accumulated, not designed, and was horrifically out of control. It was a mess, and probably incredibly insecure. Very few things were done properly to scale to where it was. So, we took a deep breath, and noted that this was a blessing in disguise as we got to sit back and have a think about what we were doing this time. I got out some pieces of paper and started scribbling (across six of them, actually), and we all got chatting on what we could do when we rebuilt it all.

LDAP is already running on a separate machine, using Debian's userdir-ldap. We have a separate source machine on our hitlist; hosting only CVS/SVN/Arch repositories, and various web downloads. These downloads would have to be signed for somehow, and all provided in a common download area. Three huge hits: we're mirrorable, there's an audit trail and security on source, and the general access machine and the source server are totally separate. Rock on.

SSH access is open to the general public, with the old home directories in /home/compromised. If you administer a project with CVS or whatever, please check that it hasn't been tainted. You can compare the repositories in /cvs and /compromised-cvs to see the difference; /cvs contains the repositories as they were on 15th Oct.

Administering your account requires a GPG key. Admins will be rather loathe to perform menial duties (e.g. changing SSH keys) on a regular basis, so if you ask us for anything, make sure it's to add a GPG key to your account. This way, it's the same amount of work for us, and it ensures that you can take care of your own account in future: less work for both of us, and less time spent waiting.

Did I mention you should all have GnuPG keys? No, really. They're incredibly useful. If we had signed copies of everything, verification would be an utter doddle. But we don't, so it isn't.

Enjoy the new gabe.freedesktop.org. -daniels
[16:31] | [daniels] | # | TB

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