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From "Christopher Tubbs (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (ACCUMULO-2464) Trace user password required in plaintext in accumulo-site.xml
Date Thu, 13 Mar 2014 16:21:43 GMT


Christopher Tubbs commented on ACCUMULO-2464:


What good is the hash instead of plaintext? At some point, the client software needs the *actual*
private credentials, not something computed from them. I don't see how you can work around
this, except to integrate with some interactive credential source (direct user prompt) or
pass the buck to some other interactive credential source (gnome-keyring-daemon with an interactive
prompt for unlocking the keyring, etc.)

You could do something like what [Maven does|]
to obfuscate passwords with an encrypted version, and put the decryption key in a separate
file... but then you have to protect that other file instead of this one, so I don't see much
value gained by such obfuscation. At best, it's no better than simply putting the plaintext
password in its own file. And, for that, I like the kind of options that openssl provides
for specifying a password source (which also formed the motivation for shell password options
in ACCUMULO-1412).

Something similar to ACCUMULO-1412 could be done for configuration, but essentially, these
are all just variations on the same general theme of isolating sensitive configuration to
a file and locking down file permissions to the user running the service.

> Trace user password required in plaintext in accumulo-site.xml
> --------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: ACCUMULO-2464
>                 URL:
>             Project: Accumulo
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: trace
>    Affects Versions: 1.5.1
>            Reporter: Josh Elser
>            Assignee: Josh Elser
>             Fix For: 1.5.2, 1.6.1
> The {{trace.password}} property is used by the Tracer to authenticate with Accumulo and
persist the traces in the trace table. Presently, this is required to be in plaintext which
is rather sub-par, but has been overlooked mostly because that password is for an isolated
user account which shouldn't have access to any sensitive data.
> I'm thinking of the following: provide some new storage in ZK akin to the acl + salt
that's currently done for the passwd db and instance.secret (with a new secret for this, of
> Another option might be to provide a hashing command that will hash the password, store
that instead of the plaintext, and then use the hash with a salt to authenticate (not exposing
the hash-authentication method to users). Not sure how I feel about that.
> Leveraging some BCrypt library might be nice too (if there's an ASF license compatible
lib somewhere). 

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