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Re: [Freeipa-users] Use of FreeIPA or FreeIPA LDAP server to hold private keys




On Wed Aug  3 10:37:45 2011, Stephen Gallagher wrote:
> As a general rule, I would think that having your private key stored
> somewhere that an admin other than yourself can reset the password and
> have access to would be really dangerous. Most especially if this
> private key was being used to access sites in other administrative
> domains.
> 
> That really sounds like an accident waiting to happen...

If you are concerned about that, then don't make use of a centralized 
keystore.

You may be a security expert and have a deeper understanding of this 
than I do, but from my limited experience and knowledge of security 
audits and risk assessment, if you don't trust your system 
administrators then you have a whole heap of other issues you need to 
contend with.

Consider that the FreeIPA server is probably *more* secure than the 
user-accessible systems and file servers.  If someone with 
administrative (root) privs for the part of the system where I store my 
passphrase encrypted private key would be the kind of person who would 
take the private key from a central keystore, if it existed, then do 
you not think they could get my passphrase and/or cleartext private key 
from the system *without* a central keystore?

This is not to say there aren't arguments against it: a policy mix up 
or a bug in the central keystore could lead to *all* users having their 
private keys compromised, and an admin who can dip in and grab private 
keys without any evidence would also be bad, but hopefully the "Audit" 
part of IPA means that any access to private keys will be securely 
logged, and flagged if they are by users other than the "owner" of the 
private key.

This is a topic that is very important to me, so I'm quite interested 
to hear how my reasoning may be flawed, or to hear opinions from others.

Regards,

Ian

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fn:Ian Stokes-Rees, PhD
n:Stokes-Rees;Ian
org:Harvard Medical School;Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
adr:250 Longwood Ave;;SGM-105;Boston;MA;02115;USA
email;internet:ijstokes hkl hms harvard edu
title:Research Associate, Sliz Lab
tel;work:+1.617.432.5608 x75
tel;fax:+1.617.432.5600
tel;cell:+1.617.331.5993
url:http:/sbgrid.org
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