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Re: [nmap-svn] r23169 - nmap-exp/colin/updater
From: Fyodor <fyodor () insecure org>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 00:04:01 -0700

On Sun, May 15, 2011 at 05:19:48PM -0700, commit-mailer () insecure org wrote:

Added: nmap-exp/colin/updater/requirements.txt
--- (empty file)
+++ nmap-exp/colin/updater/requirements.txt   Sun May 15 17:19:48 2011
@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@
+* It must be possible to verify the integrity of update metadata (e.g.,
+  latest version number).
+* It must be possible to verify the integrity of package contents.
+* The system must derive trust from GPG keys.
+  (In other words, if the system requires the generation of new
+   keypairs, it must be possible to sign those with existing GPG keys.)

SSL may be OK too.  I think the current GPG-signing mechanism for Nmap
downloads is more secure than if we just distributed them from an SSL
site.  But only if people actually verify the downloads.  The
unfortunate reality, as evidenced by our web logs, is that only a tiny
percentage even download the signature files, much less verify them.
With SSL, the security isn't as strong.  For example, it wouldn't by
itself catch a malicious binary placed by someone who hacks the
distribution server.  Plus SSL CAs aren't very trustworthy.  But at
least the browsers check it automatically for each download.

I'm not suggesting changing the Nmap PGP-signing model (though we
probably should use SSL distribution in addition to the PGP signing).
But I think an update service using SSL should not be ruled out just
because it isn't GPG-key-based.

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