On “How can someone miss a meeting?”

Since Diego is deleting my comments from his moderation queue, I’ll try to give my impression of his post here. But first I’ll state my opinion on the matter.

I think the Council made a mistake (admittedly, not a big one) by missing their latest meeting. And I don’t particularly care about why it happened. Also, I don’t think they have to give either reasons or excuses, this kind of stuff might happen, and that’s all.

However, there’s one reason the Council exists: because we all voted for what today is GLEP39 (which wasn’t a GLEP by that time, as far as I recall). And said document states it clearly:

If any meeting has less than 50% attendance by council members, a new election for all places must be held within a month. The ‘one year’ is then reset from that point.

There is no point in enforcing such a rule when Council members are late even for half an hour (or even a couple of hours). But there is no enforcing here, you guys missed the meeting, rules say you have to call an election. Hell, those of you who got my vote will get it again. (And I’m quite sure that’s the situation for lots of people).

Just follow the rules that give you the power you have.

However, I find it interesting that Diego, who is a Council member, didn’t read the summary of that meeting:

Did I read summary or log the day after? Sincerely, no. I did think I was there till the end, as we were already late, and I don

Slacker Council

As per http://archives.gentoo.org/gentoo-dev/msg_19892c04f0e6cf4c24629f13718e45cb.xml there was a meeting council scheduled for 20:00 UTC today (that’s a bit more than half an hour ago).

For some reason, only amne and dberkholz showed up. As per GLEP39‘s Specification:

  • If any meeting has less than 50% attendance by council members, a new election for all places must be held within a month. The ‘one year’ is then reset from that point.

What’s the council going to do? Place your bets.

— ferdy

On cooperating and paludis vulnerability

A serious security issue in paludis was brought to my attention recently, and I feel I should make you all aware. Apparently someone, with root access to a machine, can gain root access by installing or editing paludis config files.

For those interested, this is how it happened (times are GMT+1):

22:34 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: can you give me any details regarding that
 security bug in paludis?
22:35 <+bonsaikitten> ferdy: it's so obvious you should have found it already
22:37 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: I should, but I probably haven't
22:37 <+bonsaikitten> ferdy: well, as I am a moron I'm unable to coherently explain :)
22:37 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: I mean, depends on whether we are talking about
a real security issue or about something we should document to avoid people
shooting themselves in the foot
22:39 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: is that all you are going to tell me?
22:39 <+bonsaikitten> ferdy: come on, it's obvious. You're supposed to be smart ...
22:39 * bonsaikitten is not in a mood to explain
22:40 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: you aren't really talking about the paludisbuild issue, are you?
22:41 <+bonsaikitten> mmh no, that's a different one
22:41 <@ferdy> k
22:41 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: what are we talking about?
22:42 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: you don't need to explain it... just say, in general 
terms, what the issue is
22:50 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: so? care to give any useful hint?
22:50 <+bonsaikitten> ferdy: doesn't happen in portage compatibility mode
22:51 <+bonsaikitten> but I blame the vodka, hard to explain when *burp* *giggle*
22:52 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: what's the impact?
22:53 <+bonsaikitten> ferdy: depends on how annoying the other person is
22:54 <+bonsaikitten> ferdy: worst case random file modification
22:58 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: and we already agreed that we aren't talking about
the paludisbuild issue, right?
22:59 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: if we aren't, I'll need more hints....
23:05 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: can I get an attack vector?
23:05 <@ferdy> that shouldn't need lots of explaining... I can figure out that
part myself
23:19 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: have you got that attack vector for me?
23:24 <+bonsaikitten> ferdy: look at configuration files, maybe you notice that
there's some exquisit code execution possible there
23:29 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: you mean those config files that only root can
edit? I must be missing something here
23:29 <+bonsaikitten> ferdy: you are :)
23:29 <+bonsaikitten> not much, and it's basically the same flaw bashrc is
for portage
23:29 <+bonsaikitten> only that bashrc is config_protect'ed ...
23:30 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: but for a package to clover those files, it must be
in a repo root added, right?
23:31 <+bonsaikitten> someone in the package mangler group, but yes
23:35 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: but if you can change those files in the first place,
why clover them by adding a malicious repo with a malicious package that changes
those files?
23:35 <+bonsaikitten> ferdy: because it's very subtle
23:36 <@ferdy> moreover, if you can already do that, why not just make the
package install whatever backdoor you want?
23:37 <@ferdy> I mean, it is subtle, but why would anyone go the 'convoluted'
route? he is already able to edit those files (since he had to add that repo)
23:38 <+bonsaikitten> 'cause only paludis is affected and you will find it very
hard to trace
23:38 <+bonsaikitten> that makes it so tempting ...
23:40 <+bonsaikitten> just don't be surprised if it suddenly unmerges itself :)
23:41 <@ferdy> yeah... well...
23:41 <@ferdy> bonsaikitten: mind if I disclose this vulnerability in
23:42 <+bonsaikitten> go ahead
23:42 <@ferdy> ta
23:42 <+bonsaikitten> 't is even on the features page of the package mangler :)

This is a good lesson to learn today:

If you can edit files owned by root in a machine, you can get root access to that machine.

So the bottom line is: There is no vulnerability, if you can mangle paludis config files, you are already root so you don’t need to edit a file to run any command you want. Another lesson one can learn by reading that log is how to be really cooperative.

Ah, and before someone with a need to use cheap psychology asks, the intention of this blag post is to stop the FUD.

– ferdy