[openstack-dev] [oslo.config] Encrypt the sensitive options

Doug Hellmann doug at doughellmann.com
Tue Apr 26 13:19:23 UTC 2016

Excerpts from Guangyu Suo's message of 2016-04-26 07:28:42 -0500:
> Hello, oslo team
> For now, some sensitive options like password or token are configured as
> plaintext, anyone who has the priviledge to read the configure file can get
> the real password, this may be a security problem that can't be
> unacceptable for some people.
> So the first solution comes to my mind is to encrypt these options when
> configuring them and decrypt them when reading them in oslo.config. This is
> a bit like apache/openldap did, but the difference is these softwares do a
> salt hash to the password, this is a one-way encryption that can't be
> decrypted, these softwares can recognize the hashed value. But if we do
> this work in oslo.config, for example the admin_password in
> keystone_middleware section, we must feed the keystone with the plaintext
> password which will be hashed in keystone to compare with the stored hashed
> password, thus the encryped value in oslo.config must be decryped to
> plaintext. So we should encrypt these options using symmetrical or
> unsymmetrical method with a key, and put the key in a well secured place,
> and decrypt them using the same key when reading them.
> Of course, this feature should be default closed. Any ideas?

Managing the encryption keys has always been the issue blocking
implementing this feature when it has come up in the past. We can't have
oslo.config rely on a separate OpenStack service for key management,
because presumably that service would want to use oslo.config and then
we have a dependency cycle.

So, we need a design that lets us securely manage those encryption keys
before we consider adding encryption. If we solve that, it's then
probably simpler to encrypt an entire config file instead of worrying
about encrypting individual values (something like how ansible vault


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