Support Proxying of Encryption and Authentication in WebSocketProxy

https://blueprints.launchpad.net/nova/+spec/websocket-proxy-to-host-security

Currently, while the noVNC, HTML5 SPICE and serial console clients can use TLS-encrypted WebSockets to communicate with the nova websocket proxy server (and authenticate with Nova console tokens), the encryption and authentication ends there. There is neither encryption or authentication between the websockets proxy and the compute node VNC, SPICE and serial console servers.

This spec describes the addition of TLS for all three services to provide encryption, and use of x509 certificates to authenticate connection attempts to the compute node console servers.

Problem description

Currently, there is neither authentication or encryption between the websocket proxy server and the compute node VNC, SPICE & serial console servers. Were a malicious entity to gain access to the “internal” network of an OpenStack deployment they can perform three attacks:

  • Passive snooping of all traffic between the proxy and compute node. This could allow the attacker to identify key strokes associated with tenant user passwords, or view sensitive information displayed on the virtual desktop.

  • Actively impersonate the proxy server, making connections to the compute node VNC, SPICE, serial console servers, viewing the tenant’s data and interacting with their machine.

  • Actively impersonate the compute node, providing a spoof remote desktop for the proxy server to connect to. This allows the attacker to modify the information presented on the desktop for their own purposes.

Use Cases

This addresses the use case where VNC, SPICE or serial console is enabled for a production deployment of Nova, and the Nova WebSocketProxy is running.

The aim is to provide protection against the three attack scenarios described above. They will be prevented as follows:

  • Passive snooping of the traffic between the proxy and compute node for VNC, SPICE and serial console will be blocked by use of TLS for encryption of the remote desktop session data.

  • Active impersonation of the proxy server will be prevented for VNC and serial console by enabling the use of x509 certificates. The proxy server will have to present its own certificate to the compute node when connecting which will validate the certificate against its permitted whitelist. At time of writing SPICE does not have support for validating client x509 certificates. If this is developed by the SPICE maintainers, it will also be added to Nova.

  • Active impersonation of the compute node will be prevented for VNC, SPICE and serial console through the use of x509 certificates. The compute node will send its certificate to the proxy server, which will then validate the certificate against the CA certificates.

This protection is based on the assumption that the attacker is not able to get x509 certificates issued by the authority used on the compute nodes and proxy servers.

Proposed change

This blueprint would introduce callbacks into the websocket proxy classes to enable negotiation of security features such as TLS encryption, x509 certificate validation and other authentication schemes. The hooks will be able to optionally perform protocol specific handshakes, and then modify the socket between the proxy and compute node, replacing the default clear text socket with an TLS wrapped one, or equivalent.

The intention is to implemented the VeNCrypt authentication scheme for VNC, which requires providing a security proxy hook that can perform a basic RFB protocol handshake / negotiation.

For SPICE and serial consoles, it is sufficient to simply replace the default clear text socket with a TLS wrapped one. It is not immediately neccesssary to get involved in the SPICE protocol negotiation, since TLS is enabled before the protocol even starts.

There is no impact on migration, since the change does not require any update to the guest XML configuration. It is purely a host level config setting on the compute nodes.

Alternatives

  • Doing end-to-end security: this would require supporting more advanced encryption and authentication in the HTML5 clients. Unfortunately, this requires doing cryptography in the browser, which is not really feasible until more browsers start implementing the HTML5 WebCrypto API. End-to-end security would also imply that the remote tenant client is able to directly see the x509 certificates associated with the compute nodes. This forces the deployer to use the same x509 certificate authority for both connections inside the cloud and on the public internet. From a manageability point of view it is highly desirable to have CA for the internal network completely separate from the CA used for public tenant facing servers.

  • Using a tool like stunnel: There are a couple of issues with this. The first is that it locks us in to a particular authentication mechanism – stunnel works fine for TLS, but will not work if we want to use SASL instead. The second issue is that it bypasses normal VNC security negotation, which does the initial handshake in the clear, and then moves on to security negotiation later. It is desired to stay within the confines of the standard RFB (VNC) specification. The third issue is that this would sidestep the issue of authentication – a malicous entity could still connect directly to the unauthenticated port, unless you explicitly set up your firewall to block remote connections to the normal VNC ports (which requires more setup on the part of the deployer – we want to make it fairly easy to use this).

Data model impact

None.

REST API impact

None.

Security impact

The actual crypto done would depend on the driver being used. It will be important to ensure that the libraries used behind any implemented drivers are actually secure.

Assuming the driver is secure and implements both authentication and encryption, the security of the deployment would be strengthened.

For new deployments, all compute nodes and thus all VM will be able to have TLS enabled straightaway. The console proxy nodes can thus mandate use of TLS for all connections. When upgrading existing deployments, however, the console proxy node will need to allow for some VMs / compute nodes using non-TLS connections. During this transition period the console proxy is thus potentially susceptible to a MITM downgrade attack where the attacker strips TLS. This is no worse than the security risk of running all compute nodes in plain text as is done with all existing Nova releases. It simply means that the full security benefit is not obtained until all compute nodes and running VMs have been upgraded to use TLS. Once this is done and the tls_required config options are set to true, a downgrade attack is no longer possible.

Notifications impact

None.

Other end user impact

None.

Performance Impact

Minimal. The extra encryption will most likely be performed via a C-based Python library, so there will be relatively low overhead.

Other deployer impact

For VNC, a deployer will have to enable use of the ‘vencrypt’ authentication scheme. This will be done via a new [vnc] auth_schemes configuration parameter which takes a list of strings identifying VNC authentication schemes to try.

When the vencrypt scheme is chosen, the deployer will also have to provide x509 certificate configuration for the novncproxy service

[vnc]
tls_ca_certs = /path/to/ca-cert-bundle.pem
tls_client_cert = /path/to/client-cert.pem
tls_client_key = /path/to/client-key.pem

In addition there will be a requirements to configure the virtualization host to enable use of TLS with VNC. For QEMU/KVM compute nodes this will involve modifying /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf and issuing x509 certificates to the compute nodes. (see References).

When enabling vencrypt for an existing deployment, two stages will be required. Initially the [vnc]auth_schemes configuration parameter will need to list both vencrypt and none auth schemes. This allows the proxy to connect to both pre-existing deployed compute hosts which do not have TLS turned on and newly updated compute with TLS. Once all compute hosts have been updated to enable TLS, the [vnc] auth_schemes configuration parameter can be switched to only permit vencrypt.

For SPICE, the deployer will also have to provide x509 certificate configuration for the spicehtml5proxy service

[spice]
tls_ca_certs = /path/to/ca-cert-bundle.pem
tls_required = <boolean>

Note SPICE does not currently make use of client certificates, so there is no equivalent to the [vnc] tls_client_cert parameter.

In addition there will be a requirements to configure the virtualization host to enable use of TLS with SPICE. For QEMU/KVM compute nodes this will involve modifying /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf and issuing x509 certificates to the compute nodes. (see References).

When enabling TLS for an existing deployment, two stages will be required. Initially the [spice] tls_required configuration parameter will be set to False. This allows the proxy to connect to both pre-existing deployed compute hosts which do not have TLS turned on and newly updated compute with TLS. Once all compute hosts have been updated to enable TLS, the [spice] tls_required configuration parameter can be switched to True.

For serial consoles, a deployer will have to enable use of TLS by providing a CA certificate bundle, and optionally a client certificate and key

[serial_console]
tls_ca_certs = /path/to/ca-cert-bundle.pem
tls_client_cert = /path/to/client-cert.pem
tls_client_key = /path/to/client-key.pem
tls_required = <boolean>

In addition there will be a requirements to configure the virtualization host to enable use of TLS with serial ports. For QEMU/KVM compute nodes this will involve modifying /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf and issuing x509 certificates to the compute nodes. (see References).

When enabling TLS for an existing deployment, two stages will be required. Initially the [serial_console] tls_required configuration parameter will be set to False. This allows the proxy to connect to both pre-existing deployed compute hosts which do not have TLS turned on and newly updated compute with TLS. Once all compute hosts have been updated to enable TLS, the [serial_console] tls_required configuration parameter can be switched to True.

Developer impact

None of the other non-QEMU hypervisors support VNC / SPICE / serial port TLS encryption at this, so this work is only relevant for libvirt with QEMU/KVM. If other hypervisors gain TLS support later, it should be straightforward for them to enable it using the enhancements done for libvirt with QEMU.

Implementation

Assignee(s)

Primary assignee:

Stephen Finucane <stephenfin>

Other contributors:

Daniel Berrangé <berrange>

Work Items

  1. Modify the websockets proxy base classes to add hooks that subclasses can use to implement encryption and authentication.

  2. Create a framework for implementing VNC authentication mechanisms.

  3. Create a websockets proxy security driver that can perform a VNC protocol negotiation, invoking the VNC authentication schemes at appropriate times.

  4. Modify the novncproxy server to enable the VNC security driver

  5. Modify the spicehtml5proxy server to enable it to open an SSL socket when required

  6. Modify devstack to enable it to generate suitable certificates for compute nodes and security proxy nodes and enable TLS for VNC, SPICE and serial consoles.

  7. Modify tempest to perform blackbox testing of the remote console service, to validate that its possible to successfully establish a console connection when TLS is enabled.

  8. Modify documentation to describe the procedure for deploying compute nodes and the console proxy servers with TLS security enabled.

Dependencies

Support for the VNC and SPICE features is already available in all versions of QEMU and Libvirt that Nova supports, and it is thus already possible to test it with currently gate CI nodes.

Support for the serial console TLS feature will require QEMU >= 2.6 and a libvirt >= 2.2.0. Deployments which lack these versions will have to continue using the serial console in clear text mode until they upgrade.

Testing

Tempest has been enhanced to validate the ability to open a remote console for VNC and SPICE. Unit tests will be included.

Documentation Impact

We will need to document the new configuration options, as well as how to generate certificates for the TLS driver (See Other deployer impact).

History

Revisions

Release Name

Description

Kilo

Introduced

Liberty

Re-proposed

Mitaka

Re-proposed

Newton

Re-proposed

Ocata

Re-proposed

Pike

Re-proposed

Queens

Re-proposed