Openwall GNU/*/Linux - a small security-enhanced Linux distro for servers
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Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 17:52:24 +0400
From: Solar Designer <solar@...nwall.com>
To: oss-security@...ts.openwall.com
Subject: Re: Closed list

On Sun, Apr 03, 2011 at 08:52:13PM -0400, Michael Gilbert wrote:
> Solar Designer wrote:
> 
> > Yes, we may do this.  Technically, an archive may be implemented as yet
> > another subscriber with its public key, where the private key
> > counterpart is not stored on any server and has a passphrase on it.
> > Thus, a possible compromise of the list server won't reveal past
> > messages (archived before the compromise, but not yet made public).
> > 
> > Pushing the archive public will then be a manual process, but that's OK
> > if it's only done once a month (omitting the last month's worth of
> > messages).  In fact, a posting to oss-security will need to be made
> > whenever the public archive is updated.
> 
> Wouldn't the easiest solution be to have a cron job check that the age
> of the message is greater than X days, decrypt it, and mail it to a
> different archive/public list?

This would require that the private key (to decrypt the archive) be
stored on a server.  Then if the server is compromised, the intruder
will gain access not only to new list traffic, but also to archived but
not yet published postings.  Since the compromise _might_ be detected as
soon as on the same day (it depends), this might make a lot of a
difference (like, one day vs. one month worth of list traffic leaked).

> I think automatic publishing is the only way this is going to work.
> No one is going to want to manually do the work.

I wouldn't mind running a script manually and entering a passphrase once
a month.  Of course, the script would need to be prepared first, which I
am not going to work on yet.  At this time, we're just discussing.

> Plus an automatically
> enforced maximum time frame will force issues to get fixed.

Hopefully, yes.

> Automation
> also means that nothing is being veiled.  Computers don't discriminate,
> humans do.

Computers are managed by humans anyway.

Alexander

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