[arch-dev-public] Automatic Signing of ISOs, pacman databases and everything else (was: Arch Linux Cloud Images (virtualbox and Qemu))

Jelle van der Waa jelle at vdwaa.nl
Sun Aug 12 20:51:38 UTC 2018

On 05/15/18 at 05:43pm, Bruno Pagani via arch-dev-public wrote:
> Le 15/05/2018 à 17:25, Florian Pritz via arch-dev-public a écrit :

Just going to necro-bump this thread, since we didn't arrive at a
conclusive descision.

> > On 13.05.2018 22:47, Christian Rebischke via arch-dev-public wrote:
> >> We could just generate an automated cloud image signing key (only for
> >> this purpose) of course and automatically sign the images with that key.
> >> Problem with this is: If our build server ever get pwned the person will
> >> have these keys for signing cloud images as well. Any opinion about
> >> this?
> > We had that discussion some years ago about signing our pacman
> > databases. I mostly remember that we didn't reach a consensus, but you
> > might want to search the archives for details. At some point there was a
> > proposal to have a dedicated signing host that is well protected and
> > receives files and then returns the signature. I'm not sure if that was
> > turned down or if there was simply nobody to work on this. Does anyone
> > remember that?
> >
> > I think this would be a viable option for us. We could also implement
> > some form of rate limiting and sanity checks to ensure we only sign
> > things that we want to sign. For example, only one ISO can be signed per
> > month and the request must come from a specific IP. I probably won't do
> > any implementation, but I'd offer to provide feedback and design help if
> > someone wants to work on this. Assuming we first agree that we want to
> > do it this way.

I believe this solution is the way to go.

> To me this is quite a good idea. :)
> I had a bit more sophisticated design in mind, where the signing host
> /retrieves/ the file to be signed (so that the connection is initiated
> from it, not toward it) by having the filename added to some text file
> on an other (almost?) dedicated host (so that having access to the hosts
> where the DB/iso/whatever are built is not enough and vice-versa, see
> just after), text file that the signing host would be watching a way or
> another (but should be in an authenticated way). Of course you need to
> restrict what kind of files can be retrieved from what host (like you
> proposed for the request coming from a specified IP).
> The goal of this setup is to have no open port on the signing host,
> requiring physical/IPMI access to it to make any change.
> But maybe that does not bring much more than your setup, while adding
> much more complexity…
> Just as you, I cannot help on implementing, but I can offer ideas and
> design feedback if anyone want to take this task in charge.

That sounds rather complicated, since we also wants this for the repo
db as well. I wonder if we use the proposed method but restrict access
not only source ip but also on the user who can make the request?

On a seperate note,  I don't believe the signing issue is new I know
that Fedora and OpenSuSe have both signing solutions. For the OpenSuse
Build Service, they have a daemon called obs-signd. [1]

Their solution is a sperate machine with a port open for their
signing daemon. I'm not sure how they resolve the don't sign any
arbitrary file problem.

For Fedora I couldn't find any information, I've reached out to a Fedora
Dev for some more information. The only thing I can find is a proposal. [2]

Maybe we should create a wiki page for signing the repository DB and
ISO's. So we can list all the benefits and downsides along with the
threat vector.

[1] https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Build_Service_Signer
[2] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Koji_Build_Autosign_Proposal

Jelle van der Waa
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