[Xymon] Encrypted Xymon reporting over SSL using stunnel

Bruce Ferrell bferrell at baywinds.org
Sat Mar 9 03:10:15 CET 2019

I'm not sure which standard is in use here, so I'll just top post like Richard did.  Please don't shoot me.

People always go for certs... And then they expire and stuff starts breaking or alerting right and left all at once.  GACK!

For real hilarity, make them expire ten years out.  By that time, no one even remembers that certs were even installed or what they're for.  As the home loan industry said right 
before the big crash, IBG, UBG (I be gone, you be gone).

 From one who has had to deal with such mass silliness, take it from me, it's NO FUN and REALLY tedious to fix.

"But I'll just use the cert for tunnel authentication" I hear you say... If in-authentic communication (even self signed) isn't denied, do we care if it's signed really?   If we do 
care then we deny communication/ignore messages. Now we've lost reporting links and visibility.

Some form of message authentication is probably a good idea though.  Just something that doesn't expire and can be revoked as needed.  gpg/pgp keys maybe, but then we get the issue 
of gpg/pgp key distribution/signing.  Key per monitored system... Anyone want to manage THAT?

On 3/8/19 11:28 AM, Richard L. Hamilton wrote:
> In the ideal, esp. when the client may have a dynamic IP address (DHCP without reserved addresses, or mobile clients, for example), it would IMO also be really good if the client reports could optionally be signed, with a certificate the server could verify, to give some confidence as to their actually coming from the client...not that that assures that the actual client wasn't compromised, but it's better than nothing insofar as it at least gives good odds that misleading (or maliciously crafted) data from elsewhere isn't being provided.
>> On Mar 8, 2019, at 11:09, Axel Beckert <abe at deuxchevaux.org> wrote:
>> Hi Ralph,
>> On Fri, Mar 08, 2019 at 10:40:55AM -0500, Ralph Mitchell wrote:
>>> I'd still like to see encrypted connections for Xymon client messages going
>>> to the server.
>> Yeah, this definitely is a feature which would be very nice to
>> available out of the box.
>> Nevertheless you can do that already now with stunnel as I mentioned:
>>>> (And yes, I'm still hoping and waiting for IPv6 support, too,
>>>> especially in xymonnet-based checks. Reporting to IPv6-only servers is
>>>> no issue though, if you anyways use stunnel to encrypt the
>>>> client-reporting traffic.)
>> Debian's xymon package ships /usr/share/doc/xymon/README.encryption
>> with hints how to implement encrypted reporting with Xymon.
>> The current version can be found in our packaging git repository at
>> https://salsa.debian.org/debian/xymon/blob/master/debian/README.encryption
>> although I'm thinking about renaming it to README.encryption.md as I
>> wrote it in Markdown syntax.
>> It also refers to this more detailed documentation:
>> https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/System_Monitoring_with_Xymon/Administration_Guide#Encryption_and_Tunnelling
>> HTH!
>> 		Kind regards, Axel

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