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Re: Should the OpenStack API re-use the EC2 credentials?


Agree that we could support multiple different authentication protocols -
signing, direct passing, tokens etc.  Sounds like the OpenStack technique
will change in the future, so we should revisit the supported set at that

However, I think we want the same credentials for users ('username' &
'password'), irrespective of the API (or auth protocol) they're using.  I
think the weird terminology is what got us into the odd situation in which
we now find ourselves where there are two sets of credentials (and one set
exposes the secret of the other set!)


On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 7:24 PM, Chuck Thier <cthier@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> It seems that most of the confusion is around the conflicting terminology
> of the EC2 and Rackspace apis.  I doubt either of those can really change,
> but there isn't a reason that both auth methods can be supported.  As an
> example this is already done in the S3 compatibility layer for Swift.
> --
> Chuck
> On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 7:56 PM, Justin Santa Barbara <justin@xxxxxxxxxxxx
> > wrote:
>> I previously fixed OpenStack authentication so it would use the same
>> credentials as EC2.  This bugfix was just reverted, because it caused
>> OpenStack API users to have to enter in different credentials (sorry!), but
>> primarily because it hadn't been discussed on the mailing list.  So here
>> goes!
>> Here's a blueprint:
>> https://blueprints.launchpad.net/nova/+spec/authentication-consistency
>> Here's an overview of the problem:
>> EC2 uses an (api_key, api_secret) pair.  Post-revert, OpenStack uses the
>> api_key(!) as the password, but a different value entirely as the username:
>> (username, api_key).  The bugfix made it so that both APIs used the EC2
>> credentials (api_key, api_secret) .  This did mean that anyone that had
>> saved the 'bad' OpenStack credentials was unable to continue to use those
>> credentials.  I also overlooked exporting the updated credentials in novarc
>> (though a merge request was pending).
>> I actually thought originally that this was a straight-up bug, rather than
>> a design 'decision', so I should definitely have flagged it better.  Again,
>> sorry to those I impacted.
>>  As things stand now, post-revert, this is probably a security flaw,
>> because the EC2 API does not treat the api_key as a secret.  The EC2 API can
>> (relatively) safely be run over non-SSL, because it uses signatures instead
>> of passing the shared secret directly.
>> This is also not very user-friendly.  Post-revert, an end-user must know
>> whether any particular cloud tool uses the EC2 API or the OpenStack API, so
>> that they can enter in the correct pair of credentials.  That doesn't seem
>> like a good idea; I think there should be one set of credentials.
>> There is some discussion about the idea of having the api_key be
>> user-friendly.  I don't think it buys us anything, because the api_secret is
>> still going to be un-friendly, but I have no objection as long as it is does
>> in a way that does not break existing users of the EC2 API.
>> I propose that:
>>  (1) the OpenStack API and EC2 credentials should be the same as each
>> other (whatever they are) for the sake of our collective sanity and
>>  (2) we have to change the current configuration anyway for security
>> reasons.
>>  (3) We should not change the EC2 credentials, because we've shipped the
>> EC2 API and our users have an expectation that we won't break them without
>> good reason, so
>>  (4) we must change the credentials for users of the (non-shipped)
>> OpenStack API.
>> Estimated user impact: I believe there are two people that will be
>> affected, and it will take them ~1 minute each, so total impact ~2 minutes.
>> The longer we delay fixing this, the more people we break and the bigger
>> the impact.  It seems that we have no choice but to do a
>> non-backwards-compatible authentication change, but I believe this is OK at
>> the moment because the OpenStack API is not yet stable/released - i.e. we
>> can still make fixes without worrying about backwards compatibility shims.
>> We're not in "The Old New Thing" land yet :-)
>> As an aside, I am very unhappy about the way this revert was pushed
>> through by Rackspace team-members, seemingly without much consideration of
>> alternatives.  Perhaps we should consider changing from needing two
>> core-approves, to needing one Rackspace core-approve and one non-Rackspace
>> core-approve.
>> Justin
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