[gnutls-help] Creating password protected private keys with certtool?

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at fifthhorseman.net
Fri May 16 15:31:18 CEST 2014

On 05/15/2014 06:22 AM, Josef Wolf wrote:
> Nikos, I'm not really sure whether this is a good idea. After all, insisting
> on regular files prevents against symlink attacks.

can you describe what symlink attack you're concerned about in the
context of reading a password from a file?

If the attacker is in control of the certtool invocation, they can
already specify an arbitrary file.  If the attacker is *not* in control
of the invocation, then the user should be able to responsibly choose
the file that they're interested in without certtool risking opening the
wrong one.  So i don't see how a symlink attack works in this context.
 Can you explain?


PS i also like the idea of being able to set it to a fifo, so that a
wrapper script around certtool can set up a program that feeds its input
to the fifo and the password never hits the disk.

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