OpenStack Security

Security is a fundamental goal of the OpenStack architecture and needs to be addressed at all layers of the stack. Like any complex, evolving system security has to be vigilantly pursued, and exposures eliminated. We need your help.

OpenStack has two mechanisms for communicating security information with downstream stakeholders, “Advisories” and “Notes”. OpenStack Security Advisories (OSSA) are created to deal with severe security issues in OpenStack for which a fix is available - OSSA’s are issued by the OpenStack Vulnerability Management Team (VMT). OpenStack Security Notes (OSSN) are used for security issues which do not qualify for an advisory, typically design issues, deployment and configuration vulnerabilities.

How to report security issues to OpenStack

For detailed vulnerability reporting instructions, see How to report security issues to OpenStack.

Vulnerability Management Team

See Vulnerability Management Team for the list of OpenStack Vulnerability Managers.

Security information for OpenStack deployers

There are four main sources of security guidance for OpenStack deployers:

  • OpenStack Security Advisories (OSSA)

  • OpenStack Security Notes (OSSN)

  • OpenStack Security Guide

OpenStack Security Advisories (OSSA)

Recent OSSAs:

You can find the complete list of published advisories here:

OpenStack Security Notes

Security Notes advise users of security related issues. Security notes are similar to advisories; they often address vulnerabilities in third party tools typically used within OpenStack deployments and provide guidance on common configuration mistakes that can result in an insecure operating environment.

The complete set of security notes is available online, but they are also published on the OpenStack mailing list when they are released.

OpenStack Security Guide

The OpenStack Security Guide provides best practice information for OpenStack deployers. This guide was written by a community of security experts from the OpenStack Security Project, based on experience gained while hardening OpenStack deployments. The guide covers topics including compute and storage hardening, rate limiting, compliance, and cryptography; it is the starting point for anyone looking to securely deploy OpenStack.

Read the guide online today.

Security information for OpenStack developers

How to propose and review a security patch


The patch development and review process for security patches is different from normal patches in OpenStack. Because the gerrit review process is public, all security bugs must have patches proposed to and reviewed in the StoryBoard or Launchpad report comments.

After a patch for the reported bug has been developed locally, you the patch author need to share that with the community. This is a simple process, but it is different than the normal OpenStack workflow.

  • Export it using the format-patch command:

    git format-patch --stdout HEAD~1 >path/to/local/file.patch

    Now you have the patch saved locally and you can attach it in a comment on the bug page.

  • For reviewers, to review that attached patch, run the following command:

    git am <~path/to/local/file.patch

    This applies the patch locally as a commit, including the commit message, author, date, and all other metadata. However, if the patch author did not use format-patch to export the patch (perhaps they only used git show >local.patch), then the patch can be applied locally with:

    git apply path/to/local/file.patch

Secure development guidelines

The OpenStack security team have collaboratively developed this set of guidelines and best practices to help avoid common mistakes that lead to security vulnerabilities within the OpenStack platform.