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From Amandeep Khurana <ama...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Design for security in Hadoop
Date Thu, 19 Mar 2009 22:06:22 GMT
Thanks for the feedback Steve.

My response on the points that you have mentioned are written inline below.


Amandeep Khurana
Computer Science Graduate Student
University of California, Santa Cruz

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 4:31 AM, Steve Loughran <stevel@apache.org> wrote:

> Amandeep Khurana wrote:
>> Apparently, the file attached was striped off. Here's the link for where
>> you
>> can get it:
>> http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/~akhurana/Hadoop_Security.pdf<http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/%7Eakhurana/Hadoop_Security.pdf>
>> Amandeep
> This is a good paper with test data to go alongside the theory
> Introduction
> ========
> -I'd cite NFS as a good equivalent design, the same "we trust you to be who
> you say you are" protocol, similar assumptions about the network ("only
> trusted machines get on it")
> -If EC2 does not meet these requirements, you could argue it's  fault of
> EC2; there's no fundamental reason why it can't offer private VPNs for
> clusters the way other infrastructure (VMWare) can
> -the whoami call is done by the command line client; different clients
> don't even have to do that. Mine doesn't.
> -it is not the "superuser" in unix sense, "root", that runs jobs, it is
> whichever user started hadoop on that node. It can still be a locked down
> user with limited machine rights.

I'll look into the NFS security stuff in detail and then add it later.

Where did EC2 come into picture?

Yes, the whoami can be bypassed, thats why the whole thing around

By superuser, I meant the user who starts the hadoop instance... Will make
it clearer in the writing.

> Attacks
> ====
> Add
>  -unauthorised nodes spoofing other IP addresses (via ARP attacks) and
> becoming nodes in the cluster. You could acquire and then keep or destroy
> data, or pretend to do work and return false values.  Or come up as a spoof
> namenode datanode and disrupt all work.
> -denial of service attacks: too many heartbeats, etc
> -spoof clients running malicious code on the tasktrackers.

I havent looked these attacks. This paper is not focussing on that. This can
definitely be looked at and incorporated at a later stage. Lets go step by
step. (Debatable)

> Protocol
> ======
> -SSL does need to deal with trust; unless you want to pay for every server
> certificate (you may be able to share them), you'll
> need to set up your own CA and issuing private certs -leaving you with the
> problem of securiing distributing CA public keys and getting SSL private
> keys out to nodes securely (and not anything on the net trying to use your
> kickstart server to boot a VM with the same mac address as a trusted server
> just to get at those keys)

SSL is a possible solution but the details arent the focus of this design.
Regarding the other keys, there is a format around which they are created
and you dont need a CA for that.

> -I'll have to get somebody who understands security protocols to review the
> paper. One area I'd flag as trouble is that on virtual machines, clock drift
> can be choppy and non-linear. You also have to worry about clients not being
> in the right time zone. It is good for everything to work off one clock (say
> the namenode) rather than their own. Amazon's S3 authentication protocol has
> this bug, as do the bits of WS-DM which take absolute times rather than
> relative ones (presumably to make operations idempotent). A the very least,
> the namenode needs an operation to return its current time, which callers
> can then work off

The time issue is definitely a concern and has to be somehow cracked. The
namenode giving its time is a good idea. But the sync would still be
important. There is a way to sync the time across the cluster. I dont
remember it clearly, but I have it on my "little" cluster. I'll look that

> Implementation
> -any  implementation should be allowed to use different (userid,
> credentials)  than (whoami , ~/.hadoop). This is to allow workflow servers
> and the like to schedule work as different users.
> -server side should log success/failures to different Log categories; with
> that an JMX instrumentation you can track security attacks.

Yes, thats the intention. So, you log into the system by giving a command
bin/hadoop login <userid>
Namenode asks for a password and it authenticates it with the underlying
unix system (or a separate user oracle if we want that).

> Overall, a nice paper. Do you have the patches to try it out on a bigger
> cluster?
Thanks! Just my first attempt at writing a paper. Glad you like it and gave
some valuable feedback.

The code that I added is kind of crude right now. It can be tested on a
large cluster, but I'd rather wait for some more inputs from others who've
been working on security or have thoughts around it. If this design is
accepted by everyone, I can go ahead and write up the code properly and we
can test it thereafter.

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