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From Ralph Goers <rgo...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Track passwords internally as char[] instead of String
Date Fri, 23 Aug 2013 04:10:59 GMT
I worked in an environment like Kurt's. passwords simply were not allowed in clear text in
config files.  I still think a plugin is the right way to handle that.

Ralph

On Aug 22, 2013, at 11:55 AM, Nick Williams <nicholas@nicholaswilliams.net> wrote:

> This is what file permissions are for. The file should be protected so that only those
who are authorized may view it. For example, on a Linux machine it may be 0400 where the user
is the account that the application runs under. Then only the application and root can view
the file.
> 
> N
> 
> On Aug 22, 2013, at 1:32 PM, Kurt Lehrke wrote:
> 
>> I believe there’s a small oversight in the idea that if someone has access to your
box, that it’s game over.
>>  
>> Think about a situation where a company may have a box with administrators and users.
  They may still want levels of security.  For example, say you have a JDBCAppender that has
a user name and password in their log4j2 configuration.   The administrator may have access
to their application and the database, but a user may only need access to the box.  Therefore,
having the user name and password hashed in the configuration file would ensure that a user
(non admin) on the system can’t get to the database.   This is an interesting challenge
since the password hash would have to be a symmetric algorithm.  It’s still merely only
a light level of security since anyone with bad intent could still figure out the decryption
by looking at the encryption algorithm.
>>  
>> In my experience (supply chain development), some companies are pretty strict on
having any password left in plain text, even if it is just for logging.
>>  
>> Just a thought.
>>  
>> Thanks,
>> Kurt
>>  
>>  
>> From: Nick Williams [mailto:nicholas@nicholaswilliams.net] 
>> Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 11:18 AM
>> To: Log4J Developers List
>> Subject: Re: Track passwords internally as char[] instead of String
>>  
>> I believe it's sufficient to simply *make sure* our code doesn't let these passwords
from the configuration get into logs. I don't see it as necessary to add special password
support, IMO. But I could be missing something.
>>  
>> N
>>  
>> On Aug 22, 2013, at 6:28 AM, Gary Gregory wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 12:38 PM, Nick Williams <nicholas@nicholaswilliams.net>
wrote:
>> This discussion comes up on the Tomcat mailing list at least every few months, and
it always ends the same way.
>>  
>> The passwords are in a configuration file. That configuration file lives with the
application. So, for example, if the application is a web app the configuration file lives
on the web app server or a server it has access to. Either way, if a hacker gets a hold of
that configuration file, it's because they've breached your firewall/server protection systems
and it's game over anyway.
>>  
>> There's really no use in making efforts to protect passwords in these configuration
files. Any effort to do so just adds a _false_ sense of security, which is more dangerous
than no security at all.
>>  
>> My concern is more in the other direction. When secrets are in String objects, they
end up as plain text in log files or any kind of dump (if Strings are dumped with toString()).
At work, we get different kinds of logs from users where the user has painstakingly blanked
out certain data. Using char[] avoids saying giving in plain text your secrets when they are
in Strings. In the case of Log4j2, this may never happen as the code stands now (do we have
passwords in toString()s?)...
>> 
>> Gary
>>  
>>  
>> Nick
>>  
>> On Aug 19, 2013, at 9:54 AM, Gary Gregory wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM, Gary Gregory <garydgregory@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Ralph Goers <rgoers@apache.org> wrote:
>> I'm not sure how this applies to what you are suggesting, but we should avoid passwords
being in clear text in the configuration.  I would suggest using a standard plugin interface
similar to what I did with the secret key provider in the Flume Appender.
>>  
>> We should at the last offer something like http://wiki.eclipse.org/Jetty/Howto/Secure_Passwords
>>  
>> So perhaps we need a boolean password attribute on PluginElement and PluginAttribute
>> 
>> Gary
>>  
>>  
>> Gary
>>  
>> 
>> Ralph
>> 
>> On Aug 19, 2013, at 7:29 AM, Gary Gregory <garydgregory@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM, Paul Benedict <pbenedict@apache.org> wrote:
>> Do you need the password ever after authentication?
>>  
>> I guess it depends on whether the code handles re-auth in case of a disconnect.
>> 
>> Gary
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 8:55 AM, Gary Gregory <garydgregory@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 7:27 AM, Ralph Goers <rgoers@apache.org> wrote:
>> What passwords?
>>  
>> For example:
>> 
>> - org.apache.logging.log4j.core.net.SMTPManager.FactoryData.password
>> - org.apache.logging.log4j.core.net.JMSTopicManager.password
>> - org.apache.logging.log4j.core.net.JMSQueueManager.FactoryData.password
>> 
>> Gary
>> 
>> Ralph
>> 
>> On Aug 19, 2013, at 4:22 AM, Gary Gregory <garydgregory@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> I've seen it done many places: Should we track passwords internally as char[] instead
of String for ivars.
>> 
>> This prevents Log4j spilling your secrets by accident in a toString to internal log
call.
>> 
>> Gary
>> 
>> --
>> E-Mail: garydgregory@gmail.com | ggregory@apache.org 
>> Java Persistence with Hibernate, Second Edition
>> JUnit in Action, Second Edition
>> Spring Batch in Action
>> Blog: http://garygregory.wordpress.com 
>> Home: http://garygregory.com/
>> Tweet! http://twitter.com/GaryGregory
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> E-Mail: garydgregory@gmail.com | ggregory@apache.org 
>> Java Persistence with Hibernate, Second Edition
>> JUnit in Action, Second Edition
>> Spring Batch in Action
>> Blog: http://garygregory.wordpress.com 
>> Home: http://garygregory.com/
>> Tweet! http://twitter.com/GaryGregory
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Cheers,
>> Paul
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> E-Mail: garydgregory@gmail.com | ggregory@apache.org 
>> Java Persistence with Hibernate, Second Edition
>> JUnit in Action, Second Edition
>> Spring Batch in Action
>> Blog: http://garygregory.wordpress.com 
>> Home: http://garygregory.com/
>> Tweet! http://twitter.com/GaryGregory
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> E-Mail: garydgregory@gmail.com | ggregory@apache.org 
>> Java Persistence with Hibernate, Second Edition
>> JUnit in Action, Second Edition
>> Spring Batch in Action
>> Blog: http://garygregory.wordpress.com 
>> Home: http://garygregory.com/
>> Tweet! http://twitter.com/GaryGregory
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> E-Mail: garydgregory@gmail.com | ggregory@apache.org 
>> Java Persistence with Hibernate, Second Edition
>> JUnit in Action, Second Edition
>> Spring Batch in Action
>> Blog: http://garygregory.wordpress.com 
>> Home: http://garygregory.com/
>> Tweet! http://twitter.com/GaryGregory
>>  
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> E-Mail: garydgregory@gmail.com | ggregory@apache.org 
>> Java Persistence with Hibernate, Second Edition
>> JUnit in Action, Second Edition
>> Spring Batch in Action
>> Blog: http://garygregory.wordpress.com 
>> Home: http://garygregory.com/
>> Tweet! http://twitter.com/GaryGregory
> 

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