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.
If you think you’ve identified a vulnerability, please work with us to rectify and disclose the issue responsibly. We provide two ways to report issues to the OpenStack Vulnerability Management Team depending on how sensitive the issue is:
There are three main sources of security guidance for OpenStack deployers:
You can find the complete list of published advisories here:
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.
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.
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 Launchpad bug 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 Launchpad 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
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.
The OpenStack Security Project runs an number of initiatives aimed at improving the overall security of OpenStack projects and ensuring that security incidents are handled in a coordinated fashion. Key initiatives that fall within the security project’s areas of responsibility are outlined below.
An autonomous subgroup of vulnerability management specialists with in the security team make up the OpenStack vulnerability management team (VMT). Their job is facilitating the reporting of vulnerabilities, coordinating security fixes and handling progressive disclosure of the vulnerability information. Specifically, they are responsible for the following functions:
See Vulnerability Management Process for details on our open process.
The Security project are constantly looking at ways to introduce tooling and automation to improve the overall security of OpenStack projects. Some of these projects are outlined below.
Bandit is a security static analysis tool for Python source code, utilizing the ast module from the Python standard library. The ast module is used to convert source code into a parsed tree of Python syntax nodes. Bandit allows users to define custom tests that are performed against those nodes. At the completion of testing, a report is generated that lists security issues identified within the target source code.
Bandit is currently a stand-alone tool which can be downloaded by end-users and run against arbitrary source code. Although early in development it is already adding value to the OpenStack code base with several projects leveraging it in their CI gate tests. As the project matures the desire is to see widespread adoption of Bandit in the OpenStack community.
Bandit can be obtained by cloning the repository. The README.rst file contains documentation regarding installation, usage, and configuration.
Anchor is a lightweight, open source, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which uses automated provisioning of short-term certificates to enable cryptographic trust in OpenStack services. Certificates are typically valid for 12-24 hours and are issued based on the result from a policy enforcing decision engine. Short term certificates enable passive revocation, to bypass the issues with the traditional revocation mechanisms used in most PKI deployments.