On 8/20/07, David Zeuthen <davidz(a)redhat.com> wrote:
- It's a fair goal to ensure that users don't have to enter any
passwords and I think gnome-keyring and other password stores (like
the one in Firefox) helps with that. Especially if it's automatically
unlocked when you log in.
For sure I agree the API-to-store-stuff aspect of the keyring is good,
because in theory it lets you share stuff between applications. In practice
that seems to have mostly failed. Pidgin and Firefox do their own thing,
and almost everything I see that actually uses gnome-keyring uses the
GENERIC_SECRET instead of NETWORK_PASSWORD so you can't easily reuse logins
between apps...at least not without getting stormed by "Allow or Deny?".
It's also pretty damn convenient that I don't have to type in these
passwords all the time. Plus I can rest assured that if my laptop
is stolen, some of my passwords are encrypted (ask blizzard about
getting his laptop stolen).
FWIW, I consider it a bug that the password store in e.g. Firefox
isn't locked the same way we lock gnome-keyring; I know the
in Firefox is there but we just uncheck it by default so you get
Well they're not directly plaintext on disk (I actually looked at this as
part of killing-login-dialogs thing); but yeah the key used to decrypt them
is right there so it ends up being more a CVS-style rot13 obfuscation (which
is a good idea).
(Of course another solution to the "unlock keyring" problem is just
to use encrypted home directories)
Right; this is the real solution to the stolen-laptop problem and I'm all
- It's just a bug  that an unprivileged process like your keylogger
can grab key presses while the gnome keyring password dialog is
focused. With things like XACE, we can prevent that and only allow
privileged applications like e.g. a screen reader / on screen
keyboard to do this.
Of course you can now turn this into a discussion about trusted path.
Right =) The guiding principle here being: If someone has physical access
to your computer and hostile intent, you've already lost.
Not that it's impossible to defend against but...it gets increasingly
baroque and the important thing to secure is the web browser.