SELinux and Tuleap (part 1)

I have been looking at tuleap for a personal Agile tool, to help me track tasks as I work on personal coding projects. For example, I might be working on a new version of a disk partitioning script to use with my kickstart installs, and come up with ideas I don’t want to forget. So, to keep track of it, I have been creating tasks in Eclipse Mylyn using the stand-alone task list. But that list can be less than optimal, and it does not integrate with things like Jenkins, etc. Well, I took a little bit of time today to read up on the installation and get it up and running. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the requirements is the following line:

You must disable SELinux prior to the install.

To me, this is a huge issue… not quite to the point of storing passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and such in cleartext. Indeed, in my book, passwords should be stored using a secure, one-way hash, except when it is a password needed by a system to connect to another system, and those should be stored encrypted, or at least as secure as possible. And as for social security numbers, they should be treated like passwords, but only stored if ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!! As for credit card numbers… if anyone can show me a valid reason why a server should ever have to store one, with or without the CVV, outside of a very transient submission queue… I will be absolutely shocked. But when it comes to disabling SELinux outside of a development environment, to me this is perhaps one step down from those. The reason I say this is that SELinux was created for a very good reason… to help place limitations upon processes/applications to keep them from being able to do things which they should not. And to disable SELinux is just pure laziness.

A number of years ago, a client of mine wanted to use Zend Framework with the community edition of Zend Server, and I ran into the same thing during the install of that package. Just like tuleap, you had to disable SELinux before installing, and leave it disabled. And for a web application, this to me is about like putting a sign pointing to the pocket where your wallet is at. When I was done with the first install for that project, I had an install wrapper script which temporarily disabled SELinux, but only long enough to install it and then patch up the security modules so that I could turn SELinux back on. And when done, I sent a polite but scolding letter to them, telling them how this was a huge mistake, and gave them the information they needed to fix things in the RPMs. And tomorrow (or should I say later today), I will be using tools like ausearch, and beginning with trying to login, I will be forking the repos up on GitHub, creating patches, and begin solving this issue with a SELinux policy. And as I find more things which need fixed, I will add those as well. But this is a major piece of technical debt for which I will be opening a critical security bug, as soon as I have the beginnings of a patch ready to include. Because, regardless of what they think, it is that big of an issue.

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