Here are tasks that are going to make CAcert's infrastructure substantially more manageable or secure:

  1. confidential information is a lot more confidential
  2. auditable - there is great accountability in system access/events
  3. availability - items with a high availability requirement are more so
  4. integrity - changes to critical items are substantially better protected or detection is easier.

Syslog Integrity

System logs retain integrity even if the operating system is compromised.

Customer Representatives

Requirement ID



remote syslog


logs cannot be modified in OS is compromised




logs cannot be spoofed by other OS


firewalling on host/unix sockets/dev node???


logs are accessible to investigators




logs are accessible to system administrator on the same box (if no confidentiality requirements)


yes - requires readonly export of filesystem - see below


Should intergrate with syslog




Should be simple to add new servers


yes - syslogng on central server


Some information should be encrypted


see below

Current non-critical systems are using linux-vservers.

Separation in Vservers

Options for separating logs files:

hard links to setup /dev/log using the root server /dev/log in every vserver. This way, logging would go to the root log files.

I'm not sure these would generate unique IP data for Integrity2.

Network syslog - possible though need to validate Integrity2.

Readonly Export

You can do a read only bind mount that gives the original vserver the ability to view its own logs but not modify them (certianly helps the sysadmin working on it).

Other ways include readonly NFS or SAMBA exports.

Encrypted Log Files

We need a solution for Syslog, Apache and potentially other applications to automatically encrypt all their logfiles to a given public key. We already thought about other solutions like serial links to a dedicated syslog server, or syslog over TCP, but we prefer to store the logfiles directly on the server where they are created, encrypted to a public key. The secret key to decrypt the logfiles should be generated on a dedicated machine. In demand of logfile auditing, the encrypted logfiles should be copied to the dedicated machine, where they can be decrypted and audited. An attacker that succeeds to gain access to the webserver should not be able to decipher the logfiles on the server. All logfiles on the server can be encrypted to the same public key, we currently don't need different settings per logfile. It should be easy to deploy it on a normal Debian+Apache+Postfix server, to install the software and deploy the public key, and to have all logfiles encrypted from then on. Compatibility with OpenPGP Public keys (or X.509 certificates, or even SSH keys) is preferred, but not a requirement. (Perhaps GnuPG can be used directly by syslog in some way?).

- The main objective is confidentiality. Integrity is optional. Perhaps OpenPGP is able to concatenate several encrypted packages after each other in a single file. So perhaps you can encrypt every line, and simply add it to the logfile. Since OpenPGP is packet oriented, it might work.

Potential solution: Potential solution: (if it can (be made to) work on public keys alone)

Perhaps ccrypt (comes with Ubuntu) could be used?

Action logging

We would like to have a system that collects login-sessions on Unixoid servers (SSH + local sessions), and asks the administrator what he actually did in that session, to collect a report of who logged in when, how long and what they did.

InfrastructureSystemTasks (last edited 2010-08-30 12:53:11 by UlrichSchroeter)