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Re: should ca-certificates certdata.txt synchronize across all suites?

On 2017-07-07 16:02:51, Guido Günther wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 07, 2017 at 03:57:35PM +0200, Philipp Kern wrote:
>> On 07/06/2017 08:01 PM, Antoine Beaupré wrote:
>> > In looking at fixing #858539 (blocking WoSign and StartCom, in CC) for
>> > wheezy, I noticed the issue was also pending in jessie. Furthermore, the
>> > idea originally raised by pabs[1] was to also update the packages for
>> > the latest changes in certdata.txt in wheezy, including the ISRG Root
>> > for Let's Encrypt (LE).
>> > 
>> > While it should be fairly trivial to do this update, I wonder if the
>> > same logic should apply to jessie itself. Right now, jessie and stretch
>> > are synchronized, but that's only because there's an update pending in
>> > unstable to synchronize with the upstream 2.11 NSS database.
>> > 
>> > This raises the question of how synchronized we want this file to be? It
>> > seems a little arbitrary to me to synchronize the file from jessie to
>> > wheezy only for this one certificate authority (LE). How about the other
>> > authorities? It doesn't seem like we should be calling the shots on
>> > this: if we follow the Mozilla policies here, either we update all
>> > supported suites at once, or we accept that some suites will have
>> > outdated material.
>> > 
>> > I have therefore opened this specific discussion with the release team
>> > in #867461 (in CC as well). Hopefully this will bring a consistent
>> > policy.
>> > 
>> > For what it's worth, my opinion is that we should attempt to synchronize
>> > certdata.txt (and blacklist.txt, for that matter) across all suites (but
>> > not other changes to the packaging). This would remove another decision
>> > point in our infrastructure and ensure harmonious X509 processing across
>> > suites.
>> > 
>> > [1]: https://lists.debian.org/1490430746.9127.2.camel@debian.org
>> > 
>> > Thanks for any feedback. For now I'll hold on another week or so for the
>> > wheezy update, since it seems unreasonable to push that update out
>> > before jessie is updated and that question is resolved.
>> But it's not just about certdata.txt. The WoSign and StartCom distrust
>> was actually hardcoded in NSS and hence what Mozilla enforced in NSS we
>> couldn't check in any other tools using ca-certificates. We also do not
>> sync the NSS version or backport the cert checks when such distrusts
>> happen. So we can only react in a similar way when the time for full
>> distrust has come (which is sort of the case now with these two),
>> otherwise we diverge in logic and potentially break users with different
>> expectations[1].
> Which brings us back to #824872 (same nss/nspr in all suites). We're
> basically shipping new NSS with firefox / thunderbird but not for the
> rest.

Let's not jump the gun here. We're not shipping NSS in ca-certificates,
just a tiny part of it: one text file, more or less.

Also, what Mozilla enforced in NSS, we enforced in ca-certificates in
other ways, through the use of a blacklist.txt file. So we can
definitely fix #858539 without syncing all of NSS to wheezy.

The proposed patch here, is more or less only to merge that very file,
blacklist.txt. The *other* thing proposed to the release team (in
#867461) is to sync the *other* changes to certdata.txt from sid. But
considering *that* work seems mostly stalled, I wonder how hard to push
on that. Of course, we could also just decide, in LTS, to sync with
jessie at least: we do not need release-team approval for this. This
would be (let's be honest here) really to get Let's Encrypt directly in
wheezy, and I think it would be worthwhile.

Also I would very well see another NMU that would release those new
changes and sync up ca-certificates with NSS, at least in sid. Then it
could trickle down to buster, and from there, if everyone is okay,
trickle down to all suites. But that discussion concerns mostly the
release team and the maintainer at this point.

I'm not sure I want to bring back the question of syncing NSS across all
suites here again. It's a different question: NSS is a library, not
just a set of policies and certificates (which is, after all, what
ca-certificates is). Backporting it forcefully across all suites
may/will have an impact on programs that link against it, something that
we won't have with ca-certicates.

So while I would like NSS to be sync'd across suites as well, I'd like
to keep the questions separate here because ca-certificates is easier to

Thanks for your feedback, keep it coming.


L'homme construit des maisons parce qu'il est vivant, mais il écrit des
livres parce qu'il se sait mortel.
                        - Daniel Pennac, Comme un roman

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