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[Bug 1835114] Re: [MIR] ec2-instance-connect


This new version of ec2-instance-connect is significantly better, thanks
for all the work.

I was wrong about the dedicated user: using the ec2-instance-connect
user is definitely an improvement.

My one specific concern:

- AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY (and the ability to get one) appears to be
available to all processes on the system. What does possession of this
secret key mean? The hypervisor may not care, a guest is a guest is a
guest, but users may care deeply. Do they?

And two generic concerns:

- Shell error handling is difficult. This code looks much safer than
before but the language is not helpful here.

- SSH access credentials are almost invisible: ps auxw | grep ssh will
show the flow, as will an inspection of
/lib/systemd/system/ssh.service.d/ec2-instance-connect.conf , but these
are fairly subtle.

These last two issues are more business decisions than security purview.
Rewriting a tool isn't cheap and the work on this version was extensive.
And all this effort must surely be because users have wanted an out-of-
band authentication mechanism. Sufficiently advertising the new feature
would allay my concern that it's very subtle.


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  [MIR] ec2-instance-connect

Status in ec2-instance-connect package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:
  ec2-instance-connect is in the Ubuntu archive, and available for all supported releases. It is available on all architectures despite only being useful on Amazon EC2 instances.

  This package is useful on Amazon EC2 instances to make use of a new feature:
  Instance Connect; which allows storing SSH keys for access online in the Amazon systems. These SSH keys are then retrieved to be used by the system's SSH service, collated with pre-existing keys as deployed on the system.

  Installing the package enables the use of Instance Connect on an

  This is a new package, and as such has no security history to speak of.

  [Quality Assurance]
  The package consists in a few shell scripts that are difficult to test by
  themselves due to the high reliance on Amazon's Instance Connect service;
  which is online and limited to use on Amazon instances.

  Given that it's a new package, there are no long-term outstanding bugs in
  Ubuntu or Debian. The package is only maintained in Ubuntu at the moment.

  This package deals with special "hardware"; it is only useful on Amazon
  instances, and its support is required as a default deployment on such
  instances when deployed with Ubuntu.

  [UI Standards]
  Not applicable. This service is command-line only and has no configuration options.

  There are no special dependencies to speak of.

  [Standards Compliance]
  This package has been thoroughly reviewed by a few Canonical engineers, there are no standards violations known.

  This package is to be owned by the Ubuntu Foundations team.

  [Background Information]
  This is Amazon-specific, as previously mentioned.

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