[Xymon] Encrypted Xymon reporting over SSL using stunnel
bferrell at baywinds.org
Tue Mar 12 18:04:09 CET 2019
I think mentioned this in another thread. I've been using BB/xymon/"that thing we can't say because an estate disliked it" since 2002.
I think many of us went through the demise of BB when Quest/Dell/EMC absorbed/smothered it.
Using code from a commercial entity (even with an apache license) raises the spector/risk of past debacles and in my opinion potentially puts a tool I really like and find useful
Integrating functionality that already exists through well understood, more general mechanisms makes it special purpose functionality and THAT makes it less reliable... Especially
in that SaltStack is really "just" an orchestrator written in Python (Py, in and of itself is enough for me to give it a pass... Very long story and ask me outside of this
discussion about that). The difference in the codebase alone should cause someone to think very hard about that kind of merge.
Looking more closely at SaltStack, I see it would add addition transports; MQ or RAET (yet another UDP based protocol... UDP, unreliable transport to increase
security/reliability?!). MQ per the docs, uses HTTP/SSL and now we're back to certs and even further integration of some form HTTP server to do that!
Maybe better documentation of secure message distribution? There used to be one on how to pull client updates via ssh. That's secure AND simple. It doesn't sign the updates but
that could be a reasonable add-on to the documentation.
For this purpose, SaltStack looks to me like that old Milton Bradley board game Mouse Trap.
On 3/12/19 8:55 AM, SebA wrote:
> There is a commercial version, but this code is open source: https://github.com/saltstack/salt
> I wasn't saying we use their code - although if the licence says that other open source projects can use it, then it is worth considering. It looks like it's using the Apache
> Kind regards,
> On Tue, 12 Mar 2019 at 15:10, Bruce Ferrell <bferrell at baywinds.org <mailto:bferrell at baywinds.org>> wrote:
> ...And looking even closer at saltstack, it's a commercial product, leading to a possible trigger of "that's ours! cross our palms with MUCH silver" (probably based on OSS, but
> thats' never stopped anyone).
> Taking me back to "do it outside of xymon" for cleanliness sake.
> On 3/12/19 6:50 AM, SebA wrote:
> > The way Salt Minions authenticate and their keys have to be accepted on the Salt Master works pretty well. I don't believe they expire. It's been a while since I looked
> at it,
> > so I couldn't tell you exactly how it works, but there's some information here:
> > https://docs.saltstack.com/en/getstarted/system/communication.html
> > Anyway, that model would probably work pretty well for Xymon, so long as the reporting client is not ephemeral.
> > Kind regards,
> > SebA
> > On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 02:10, Bruce Ferrell <bferrell at baywinds.org <mailto:bferrell at baywinds.org> <mailto:bferrell at baywinds.org <mailto:bferrell at baywinds.org>>> wrote:
> > 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 <mailto:abe at deuxchevaux.org> <mailto:abe at deuxchevaux.org <mailto: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 <http://README.encryption.md> <http://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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