GSoC Updates
Aug 28 2013
2 minutes read

This posts unlike previous posts is just a collection of all the updates from my gsoc project. Recently I have been working on setting up the infrastructure to contain public and private keys for the gpg process to use. A few problems that I encountered were:

  1. How do list owner create keys? What parameters? Which address?
  2. The solution to this came down to gpg defaults, i.e. (size=2048, type=RSA). I don't think it is wise to impose a limit to the hashing algorithms used in the generation of the keys, although md5 is considered to be quite less secure we could only ask admins to not to use md5.

  3. How to manage paraphrase(or passwords) for keys?
  4. Now this is one of the big issues in this project. Passphrase should be something that is not stored on the disk for the reasons of security but then making the list-owner enter every-time a mail arrives is like impossible. So we I came up with gnupg-agent which stores the passphrase in memory and the user does not need to enter it everytime a key needs to be used, but the catch is it is again not a very good policy to ask list-admins to keep entering passphrase after every reboot. So finally it was decided that we can let the key be without any passphrase for the moment and later on we can add this functionality when the major focus of the work is that itself unlike now.

  5. How to securely upload keys?

    Well this question was later on replaced by whether upload the keys? Initially it was decided to ask the list admin to generate and upload keys to the server, but this process renders the secret key vulnerable to attacks which may effect the security of the list, so instead we decided to create the keys on the server itself by mailman so that the keys never have to be moved at all.

During the course of coding I also realized since the basic structure of a default message that can pass through the default-posting-chain has changed and now is a multipart/signed message a few of the tests are failing. I talked to Barry about it and it seems that it is not my problem(for a while).

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