GnuPG this Past Summer
wk at gnupg.org
Thu Sep 22 15:01:29 CEST 2016
here is a text copy of Neal's
1 GnuPG this Past Summer
As usual, Werner has made a cornucopia of contributions. He improved
`--quick-addkey' and `--quick-gen-key', he changed `gpg-agent' and
`dirmngr' to exit if their sockets disappear, he added an assuan
logging monitor, he implemented new export and import filters, he did
some work on `g13', he added `/run/user/UID/gnupg' sockets, he
introduced an option (`--recipient-file') to work directly with keys
stored in a file, and he made a number of improvements to GPGME
including adding TOFU support.
The filtering changes allow controlling what packets are imported or
exported. For instance, if you want to only keep a single user id
when exporting a key, you could use:
| gpg --no-options --import-options import-export \
| --import-filter keep-uid='mbox = joe at example.org' \
| --import < full-key.pub > key-with-one-uid.pub
More information about this feature is available in his [note] to the
GnuPG mailing list or `gpg''s documentation.
The `--recipient-file' option is an oft-requested feature, which
allows [working with keys without importing them].
Werner also fixed a critical bug in the way the mixer in the random
number generator stirred the pool. Specifically, the bug allowed an
attacker who obtains 580 bytes from the standard random number
generator (RNG) to trivially predict the next 20 bytes of output.
Fortuitously, [this bug does not affect the default generation of
keys] ([more details]).
Justus continued to improve our new test suite for GnuPG. The
improvements included not only fixes to the new scheme-based driver,
but also a bunch of new tests. A couple of the changes included [bug
fixes to TinySCHEME]. Unfortunately, the upstream developers don't
appear to be interested in the fixes.
Most of Justus' time recently has been focused not on the test suite,
but on improving the Python bindings for GPGME. This work was started
by Ben McGinnes, who contributed an initial port of the [PyME
bindings] to Python 3. Justus finished this port, restored Python 2
compatibility, and added more pythonic interfaces (e.g., making
everything work with objects implementing the buffer protocol like
byte strings). The low-level interface has, however, been retained
and existing applications should continue to work (if not, this is a
bug, please [file a bug report]). He also ported the GPGME test suite
to the Python bindings. This uncovered a number of latent bugs in the
bindings, which he fixed. From our perspective, these are now the
official Python bindings for GPGME: we've added them to the GPGME
repository, and we will continue to maintain them in the foreseeable
future. Nevertheless, to be more compatible with Python developers'
work flow, we are also packaging `pyme3' for [`pypi'], which means
that the bindings can be installed using `pip install pyme3'. More
information is available in Justus' [blog post].
Justus also set up a Jenkins host for continuous integration. In
addition to running `make check' for each commit under several
configurations, it also runs the checks with various sanitizers
enabled. This has already prevented a number of minor bugs from
making it into releases.
Andre has made a number of end-user facing contributions. The most
notable is for users of Kleopatra, which now has new dialogs for File
Encryption and Decryption / Verification. These greatly reduce the
number of required interactions to perform these operations. He also
worked on the new file type registration on Windows so that decrypting
a file only requires a double click. Additionally, he has continued
his work on the GnuPG plugin for Outlook, which should be released
with gpg3win-3 this fall. The code is already in good form, and
testers are encouraged to check it out together with the new Kleopatra
(see [Test version of Gpg4win-3].) Andre has also been working on
improving KMail's `gpg' support. One of the focuses of this work has
been adding TOFU support to the libraries used by KMail. Andre also
merged the C++ and Qt bindings for GPGME from KDE into the official
GPGME repository. This included a port of the C++ API to pure
standard C++ without boost, and the removal of some KDE-Framework use
in the Qt bindings so that the bindings now only require Qt 5 base.
This should make working with `gpg' in a Qt application even more
convenient. In particular, executing operations asynchronously is
very easy. Finally, Andre fixed some CRL-related bugs in `dirmngr'.
Kai's recent work has focused on porting [Mailpile] [to use GPGME]
rather than its own wrapper, which only works with GnuPG 1.4.
Unfortunately, many projects decide to take a similar approach to
Mailpile, and write their own code to interact with `gpg'. As a
reminder, we strongly encourage all developers to not directly
interact with `gpg', but to use [GPGME], which is not only more
complete, but also has seen a lot of testing. We realize that GPGME's
interface's are not always ideal, however, we are open to suggestions
for improvements, and feature requests. Similarly, if you don't
understand how to do what you want using GPGME, we encourage you to
ask for help on the [gnupg-devel mailing list].
Jussi Kivilinna has continued his work optimizing libgcrypt. In the
recent past, most of his effort was spent on implementing assembly
versions of various cryptographic functions for the ARMv8/AArch32
Niibe worked on mitigating the recently published [Flip Feng Shui]
exploit. Flip Feng Shui uses a cross-VM, row hammer-based exploit to
change the `trusted.gpg' file, which is used by Debian's package
manager apt to verify downloads, and apt's `sources.list' file, which
determines where packages are downloaded from, in a controlled manner.
This allows attackers to replace packages that are installed with
their own versions. The [fix] is to make sure that `gpgv' always
checks that self-signatures are valid.
Niibe also spent time improving GnuPG's smartcard support. This has
primarily consisted of many small, but important improvements
including smartcard support for ECC keys and various bug fixes.
Further, Niibe investigated adding signature verification for ssh keys
stored in the authorized_keys file. This would allow detecting
corrupted keys, which could happen via a Flip Feng Shui-type attack.
Although there is some support for [signature verification in ssh],
Niibe discovered that this particular mode of operation is not yet
supported by ssh-agent.
Finally, Niibe has released [a new version of GnuK (1.2.1)]. GnuK is
a fully free cryptographic token (hardware and software). Not only is
GnuK based on free software, but the entire hardware specification is
open, and the parts are relatively easy to buy and assemble. The GnuK
token can be ordered from [seeed] or the [FSF].
As usual, dkg contributed various clean ups and bug fixes. He
contributed a patch to avoid publishing the GnuPG version by default,
and another to improve `--quick-revuid'. He also provided a patch to
reenable exporting secret keys without a passphrase, which was
possible in `gpg' 1.4 and 2.0, but, due to various technicalities, was
not possible in 2.1. dkg also started a [discussion about having
systemd manage `gpg''s daemons]. This would ensure that GnuPG's
daemons are stopped when the user logs out. He provided patches, but
so far these changes have not yet been accepted.
Ben Kibbey made a number of contributions. Among his bug fixes and
clean ups, he fixed the OpenIndiana (Solaris) builds.
I (Neal) returned from a several month sabbatical. My first order of
business was to tie up some loose ends with the TOFU support in GnuPG.
Among other things, I added several checks to reduce the number of
gratuitous conflicts. In particular, if two keys have the same email
address and are cross signed, then they are almost certainly
controlled by the same person. In fact, this is a usual way of
indicating key rotation. I also set the default policy to "good" for
keys that the user has directly signed.
[working with keys without importing them]
[this bug does not affect the default generation of keys]
[bug fixes to TinySCHEME]
[PyME bindings] https://bitbucket.org/malb/pyme
[file a bug report] https://bugs.gnupg.org
[Test version of Gpg4win-3]
[to use GPGME] https://github.com/mailpile/Mailpile/pull/1621
[gnupg-devel mailing list]
[Flip Feng Shui]
[signature verification in ssh]
[a new version of GnuK (1.2.1)]
[discussion about having systemd manage `gpg''s daemons]
There have been several GnuPG releases since the last status update:
[2.1.13], [2.1.14], [2.1.15], and [1.4.21]; and two releases of
libgcrypt [1.7.1] and [1.7.2]. Finally, a new version of GPGME is
available, [1.7.0], which includes the newly upstreamed Python, C++
and Qt bindings as well as a number of bugs fixes and various
1.3 Public Appearances
Werner held a keynote at GUADEC, "We Want More Centralization, Do
We?." His talk was [covered by LWN].
In May, Neal held his "An Advanced Introduction to GnuPG" talk at
INRIA, and again at GHM in August. Neal will hold the same talk on
October 3rd at 18:00 at the ACM chapter at Johns Hopkins University in
Baltimore, and again on October 5th at 18:30 at the [NYLUG] (you need
to RSVP for this event).
In August, we took part in the GUUG-hosted [OpenPGP.conf]. I've
already posted a [report] to our blog.
Note: We are looking to interview representatives from organizations
who rely on GnuPG, e.g., journalists, lawyers, NGOs, governmental
organizations, software distributors, companies, etc., for some
publicity material that we are producing. If you fall into this
category, or know someone who does, and would be willing to be
interviewed, [please get in touch with me]!
[covered by LWN] https://lwn.net/Articles/697450/
[please get in touch with me] mailto:neal-nospam at gnupg.org
Die Gedanken sind frei. Ausnahmen regelt ein Bundesgesetz.
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