[openssl-users] Fwd: CONGRATULATION____REF#87670

Jakob Bohm jb-openssl at wisemo.com
Tue Apr 5 00:39:29 UTC 2016

On 05/04/2016 01:47, Johann v. Preußen wrote:
> '/No one (until about 2 hours ago) were discussing how the //
> //particular "From" address got past the "you must be //
> //subscribed to post" filter/'
> actually, i first posted on this issue c. 76 hours ago.

Not in this thread on openssl-users as far as I can tell.

> '/maybe the spoofed From address happened to be a subscriber/'
> is it possible that openssl still does not know if the email addr is a
> real subscriber?

I have no way of knowing since I am not one of the list admins.

> '/maybe there is a bug in the list management software or configuration/'
> yes, i surely hope someone is looking into this possibility.
> further, not only was owenevans98 able to post an original message (the
> subject of this thread), but there was a subsequent posting in reply to
> another thread. thus, the conclusion that owenevans98 was not only able
> to post but was|is receiving the listserv mailings is self-evident. the
> fact that this two-way comm path came into existence means that the
> listserv database was corrupted and that the original posting was not
> some slip-up in permitting an un-authorized one-time posting.

Which other thread was that?

> jakob, i appreciate your taking of the time to detail some of openssl's
> listserv practices and view-points. perhaps it is best to set forth the
> synopses of my views:

I am not a list admin or other official team member, I am just an
active list member who wants to avoid the list admins following bad
advice from people like you and Ben Humpert.

>  1. make certain ' owenevans98' and any other illegitimate posters are
>     not receiving listserv mailings;

Question is if owenevans97 is an illegitimate poster or a legitimate
poster whose e-mail address was spoofed.

Anyway, the OpenSSL mailings are all being indexed on the world wide
web by multiple organizations, where anyone can read them.

>  2. stop publishing the subscriber's protected PII in the clear; and

Again, I see no sign this is happening other than the age-old inclusion
of original from and reply addresses in postings (which is limited to
those who post, and doesn't affect those who only subscribe).

>  3. control postings of anchors.

I disagree.  A number of e-mail clients (MUAs) automatically turn
textual URLs into anchors and make it very difficult (if not
impossible) for the posting user to avoid this.  And people
professional enough to understand most of the stuff on OpenSSL mailing
list also know not to click on links in strange e-mails and forum posts.

> according to your comment quoted, supra, it seems that the step
> indicated in Item 1 has yet to be taken.

I wouldn't know.

> Item 2 can be implemented by inaugurating a subscriber-managed profile
> and merely publishing a user handle linked thereto. thus, you can shift
> the onus to the subscriber to reveal whatever info they wish rather than
> arbitrarily exposing to the world a subscriber's personal name, email
> addr, and work-force association.

Did you read and understand any of that which I wrote, or
are you just trolling?

> in the case of Item 3, i understand all of the reasons for having links
> (not html anchors) in postings. it is a very minor inconvenience for
> someone who has  a burning interest in viewing a link to copy the
> clear-text link into a browser versus clicking on an anchor description
> which could lead the subscriber far astray from what the description
> says. it also enhances the subscriber experience to visually see where
> the link is going instead of having the actual target obscured by a
> description that may be deceptive, merely misleading, or non-apparent
> (i.e., 'click here').
> jakob, you also mention concern re MTA operators having some issues with
> changes you may make to the listserv ops. please note: none of the three
> (3) items, supra, i have suggested have any impact on other MTA
> operators as they are totally internal-control enhancement proc's.

I am an MTA operator, I am not a listserv op.  I was posting concerns I
have as an MTA operator and list member with stupid changes suggested
by you and Ben Humpert.

> i cannot understand why openssl's filtering missed the fact that the
> posting that is subject of this thread predominated in symbols and
> control characters, contained no actual message text, and still went
> through. hopefully, someone is also looking into why this happened.

Did you read the brief but very clear message posted on 2016-04-02
15:24 UTC by Rich Salz (who is an OpenSSL team member and may have
access to the listserv configuration details not published to avoid
helping spammers)?


Please don't CC list members on replies to the list, it causes
duplicate copies to reach them (since list membership is required to
post to the list anyway).

> On 2016.Apr.04 15:36, Jakob Bohm wrote:
>> On 04/04/2016 22:28, Johann v. Preußen wrote:
>>> i am not certain i understand how it is google's fault that this
>>> owenevans98|Dawn was able to slip into the listserv database. this
>>> is, of course, assuming that this was not done via a simple sign-up.
>>> i also do not understand how prohibiting a posting (content, infra)
>>> that obfuscates a message within a host of symbols with a net zero
>>> percent of prose and 100% anchor description is responding to some
>>> sort of a "fad". this list is re problems and solutions that can only
>>> be conveyed in prose ... no prose == no message. and permitting
>>> private anchors is also a questionable security practice. it does not
>>> seem unreasonable to require anchors to be to _recognized_ sandbox
>>> sites or -- much better -- to an openssl-operated one.
>> No one (until about 2 hours ago) were discussing how the
>> particular "From" address got past the "you must be
>> subscribed to post" filter, maybe the spoofed From address
>> happened to be a subscriber, maybe there is a bug in the
>> list management software or configuration.
>> There was discussion of which generic "hard-reject" filters
>> should be applied and someone suggested prematurely
>> applying a number of recently "trendy" such rules promoted
>> by (ironically in this case) Google and others.  I was the
>> one who used the word "fad" to refer to such recently
>> promoted "hard-reject" rules and pointed out that many
>> smaller organizations will be unable to cause legitimate
>> mail/postings to comply with such rules anytime soon,
>> simply because it takes time to roll out new protocols to
>> all the worlds legitimate e-mail sending servers.
>> As for the suggestion to forbid links to servers other than
>> OpenSSL.org servers, this will be fatally flawed as it will
>> block discussions of such common OpenSSL related topics as:
>> - URLs of published security research (such as the home
>>  pages of new vulnerability descriptions).
>> - URLs of sites that publish OpenSSL related software, such
>>  as OpenSSH, stunnel, the Shining Light Windows binaries of
>>  OpenSSL etc.
>> - URLs that are showing interoperability problems with
>>  OpenSSL.
>> - URLs of independently published OpenSSL patches (that
>>  have not yet been accepted into the OpenSSL repositories).
>> - URLs necessitated by the byzantine legal rules regarding
>>  which web servers are allowed to publish cryptographic
>>  software written by which people for use by which other
>>  people.
>> These categories of non-openssl.org URLs occur frequently
>> in legitimate posts to this list and cannot be replaced by
>> some private openssl.org hosted equivalent of pastebin.com
>> etc.
>>> moreover, as i pointed out in a pm to Steve, this is a real security
>>> issue for openssl's list in that such a breach (if it is one) opens
>>> the names and email contact info of a broad range of
>>> security-responsible people that will invariably include some in the
>>> upper regions of the perm chain. these people are the very people
>>> that are targeted by malicious attempts (and some startling
>>> successes) to breach much more than an organization's email system.
>> You are now going way outside anything discussed previously,
>> please enlighten the list as to what you are possibly
>> talking about here.
>> So far the only known breach is an apparent breach of
>> *Google owned* e-mail servers, allowing perfect spoofing
>> of gmail.com addresses by causing the fake mail to be
>> sent by *exactly* the same servers with *exactly* the
>> same headers as legitimate mails by the legitimate user of
>> the spoofed e-mail address.
>> This does not expose any of the names of any e-mail
>> addresses stored by the OpenSSL organization, unless
>> that data can be extracted by e-mailing a command to
>> listserv from a spoofed administrator e-mail address and
>> any of those administrator e-mail addresses are actually
>> hosted by Google.
>>> yes, this person has seemingly stopped with postings, but i am
>>> hearing no assurance that they have even been eliminated from the
>>> subscription database. just being able to listen will garner a wealth
>>> of sensitive info obtainable re a most desirable crowd of people/victims.
>> Posts by others indicate that the *spoofing* activity
>> seemed to have stopped for multiple gmail addresses,
>> including the e-mail address of one person posting such
>> an observation, indicating a likelihood that Google fixed
>> the underlying security issue.
>>> even the most simplistic listserv app has the ability to withhold
>>> subscriber email addr's and still provide a secure pm capability. now
>>> that it is apparent|perceived that the list is vulnerable, i believe
>>> the prudent route to go is to keep those addr's and subscriber
>>> real-world names out of the "limelight". i see no reason why a
>>> sanitized subscriber profile available from a link within the
>>> person's public handle would not be adequate for identification
>>> purposes and would actually become an enhancement to the listserv
>>> app's usefulness to subscribers. this would certainly shield the
>>> subscriber in a reliably meaningful way, serve to protect a
>>> subscriber's own email system, and enhance the security of openssl's
>>> own listserv ops.
>> The issue that the FROM addresses of OpenSSL e-mail list posters
>> (not other subscribers) can be seen by anyone receiving or
>> otherwise finding their postings is age-old and completely
>> unrelated to any issue related to this discussion (the spammer
>> in this case obviously did not know that this was a mailing
>> list, given the incorrect textual name used with the list
>> SMTP address).
>> Even if OpenSSL were to switch to a surveillance vulnerable
>> design where PMs between users would have to go through the
>> OpenSSL servers, the list administrators will probably remain
>> reachable using well known mandatory e-mail addresses such as
>> "Postmaster".  A similar issue would apply to most of the other
>> high value subscribers.
>> Any such people would already be required (in order to perform
>> their function safely at all) to employ security measures to
>> isolate their publicly known e-mail addresses from any e-mail
>> addresses that are not intended to be publicly known.  As an
>> example, all my (non-blocked) postings on this list use a
>> dedicated mail address and mail box which allows me to dismiss
>> e-mails on other subjects to this address as Spam while not
>> exposing other e-mail addresses used for more trusted uses, and
>> I obviously employ similar measures for any well known role
>> accounts I handle myself.
>>> *original anchor description (100% of the message content):*
>>> Attn:__here__is__your___$lâˆ
>>> __Wε__Nεεd__Yσμr__Shiρmeηt__Infσrmatiσηs__
>>> Click_Here
>>> On 2016.Apr.04 09:08, Jeffrey Walton wrote:
>>>>> And anyway, this seems to be a case where the genuine
>>>>> operator of an e-mail domain is failing to correctly
>>>>> authenticate submissions by their own users, which no
>>>>> amount of 3rd party automation (other than blacklisting
>>>>> the failing provider, in this case gmail) could stop.
>>>> Yeah, I'm guessing there was a vulnerability in one of the other
>>>> Google services, and that Google service was allowed to make web-based
>>>> email submissions on behalf of the user. Classic injection and failure
>>>> to validate sessions or parameters...
>>>> I'm also guessing Google fixed it because it has stopped.


Jakob Bohm, CIO, Partner, WiseMo A/S.  https://www.wisemo.com
Transformervej 29, 2860 Søborg, Denmark.  Direct +45 31 13 16 10
This public discussion message is non-binding and may contain errors.
WiseMo - Remote Service Management for PCs, Phones and Embedded

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