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Re: uploader security

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: uploader security
Date: Sun, 20 May 2018 12:23:34 +0200
User-agent: KMail/5.1.3 (Linux/4.4.0-119-generic; KDE/5.18.0; x86_64; ; )

Hi Jim,

> This is a tool by which one uploads signed tarballs to (usually) GNU
> servers, presumably for mass distribution. As such, I think we are
> justified in holding packagers/uploaders to a higher standard. At the
> very least, we should feel justified in expecting that an uploader run
> on a reasonably secure system: i.e., one that is still being
> maintained.

It is very debatable what constitutes a "reasonably secure system":
  - given that there are different philosophies ("the user is responsible
    for their system's security" vs. "all users are idiots, therefore only
    a crippled system is a secure one"),
  - regarding the details of the requirements: a maintained OS? a
    permanently running antivirus? HTML display turned off in the mailer? ...

It is also very debatable whether GNU should merely *expect* that an
an uploader runs a secure system, or *enforce* it.

In any case, even if you want to enforce it, an error message
  "*** Your distribution does not receive regular security updates"
is better than
  "gpg-agent is not available in this session"
because it saves the user from an hour of investigation.


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