Infrastructure report, 2008-08-22 UTC 1200

Last week we discovered that some Fedora servers were illegally
accessed. The intrusion into the servers was quickly discovered, and the
servers were taken offline.

Security specialists and administrators have been working since then to
analyze the intrusion and the extent of the compromise as well as
reinstall Fedora systems. We are using the requisite outages as an
opportunity to do other upgrades for the sake of functionality as well
as security. Work is ongoing, so please be patient. Anyone with
pertinent information relating to this event is asked to contact
fedora-legal@redhat.com.

One of the compromised Fedora servers was a system used for signing
Fedora packages. However, based on our efforts, we have high confidence
that the intruder was not able to capture the passphrase used to secure
the Fedora package signing key. Based on our review to date, the
passphrase was not used during the time of the intrusion on the system
and the passphrase is not stored on any of the Fedora servers.

While there is no definitive evidence that the Fedora key has been
compromised, because Fedora packages are distributed via multiple
third-party mirrors and repositories, we have decided to convert to new
Fedora signing keys. This may require affirmative steps from every
Fedora system owner or administrator. We will widely and clearly
communicate any such steps to help users when available.

Among our other analyses, we have also done numerous checks of the
Fedora package collection, and a significant amount of source
verification as well, and have found no discrepancies that would
indicate any loss of package integrity. These efforts have also not
resulted in the discovery of additional security vulnerabilities in
packages provided by Fedora.

Our previous warnings against further package updates were based on an
abundance of caution, out of respect for our users. This is also why we
are proceeding with plans to change the Fedora package signing key. We
have already started planning and implementing other additional
safeguards for the future. At this time we are confident there is little
risk to Fedora users who wish to install or upgrade signed Fedora
packages.

In connection with these events, Red Hat, Inc. detected an intrusion of
certain of its computer systems and has issued a communication to Red
Hat Enterprise Linux users which can be found at
http://rhn.redhat.com/errata/RHSA-2008-0855.html. This communication
states in part, “Last week Red Hat detected an intrusion on certain of
its computer systems and took immediate action. While the investigation
into the intrusion is on-going, our initial focus was to review and test
the distribution channel we use with our customers, Red Hat Network
(RHN) and its associated security measures. Based on these efforts, we
remain highly confident that our systems and processes prevented the
intrusion from compromising RHN or the content distributed via RHN and
accordingly believe that customers who keep their systems updated using
Red Hat Network are not at risk. We are issuing this alert primarily for
those who may obtain Red Hat binary packages via channels other than
those of official Red Hat subscribers.”

It is important to note that the effects of the intrusion on Fedora and
Red Hat are *not* the same. Accordingly, the Fedora package signing key
is not connected to, and is different from, the one used to sign Red Hat
Enterprise Linux packages. Furthermore, the Fedora package signing key
is also not connected to, and is different from, the one used to sign
community Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) packages.

We will continue to keep the Fedora community notified of any updates.

Thank you again for your patience.


Paul W. Frields
gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
http://paul.frields.org/ –  –   http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug

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One Response to “Infrastructure report, 2008-08-22 UTC 1200”

  1. anon Says:

    Thanks for the information.

    Do you have an ETA for when the next set of updates to rawhide will be available?

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