Re: Patch attestation RFC + proof of concept

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On Wed, Feb 26, 2020 at 12:25:02PM -0500, Konstantin Ryabitsev wrote:
> ## The submitter workflow
> As I envision it, the submitter workflow would look as follows:
> - the developer runs "git-format-patch"
> - the developer reviews the changes and makes any last-minute edits they 
>   deem necessary before submitting their work to the list/maintainer
> - the developer executes "git-send-email"
> - the developer runs "attest-patches -a *.patches"
> - the developer sends attestation.eml to signatures@xxxxxxxxxx
>   (or the tool auto-POSTs it to the submission URL, as mentioned)
> There can even be a fairly simple wrapper around git-send-email that 
> would perform attestation as part of the "sending patches" stage.

FWIW, I would find this utterly trivial to add to my workflow. (The only
minor difference that doesn't really matter is that in addition to
series-style patches, I also regularly send one-offs, but that would
just be a short attestation email.)

> ## The reviewer workflow
> The reviewer does not need to concern themselves with attestation until 
> they are ready to apply the patches to their git tree. When that moment 
> comes:
> - the maintainer runs get-lore-mbox -aA (-A is not implemented yet)
> - get-lore-mbox performs attestation before generating the am-ready mbox
> - if attestation passes, get-lore-mbox adds two trailers to each patch: 
>   "Attestation-by:" and "Attestation-verified:". In our example case 
>   those are:
>   Attestation-by: Kees Cook <kees@xxxxxxxxxx> (pgp:8972F4DFDC6DC026)
>   Attestation-verified: Konstantin Ryabitsev <konstantin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

We'll probably need to have a stable way to deal with key aliases. Even
in this example my email addresses are keescook@xxxxxxxxxxxx (patches
and attestation sender), kees@xxxxxxxxxxx (comment in gpg sig), and
kees@xxxxxxxxxx (since that's what Konstantin used to fetch my key).

And perhaps I lack imagination, but what is the overall purpose of these
proposed tags? If it's just a hint to whether the patch has attestation,
the '-verified:' isn't needed. Anyone wanting to check attestation would
always need to do the full heavy lifting anyway.

> # Thoughts?
> Okay, what do you all think? I believe this scheme has the following 
> merits:
> - it is opt-in and can be adopted by individual subsystem maintainers
> - it builds on top of the PGP trust framework already used extensively 
>   by the kernel developers
> - it doesn't litter mailing lists with non-human-readable attestation 
>   junk
> - it doesn't require that attestation data is created at the time when 
>   patches are submitted for review; the maintainer can request that it 
>   is provided at a later time when they are ready to apply the series to 
>   their git tree and want attestation data for the final sanity check 
>   and record-keeping
> - all attestations are recorded in the public-inbox "signatures" feed 
>   that can be mirrored along all other public-inbox repositories on 

Moar blockchains! ;) But, yes, it provides a signed path from author to
committer without interfering with existing workflows. I like it!

> Downsides:
> - we aren't solving the problem of delegated trust, which will continue 
>   to be the hardest part behind any distributed development effort

This was immediately my first question. How does a committer choose the
correct GPG key? /me waits for the key server to appear...

Thanks for working on this! It was fun being the alpha guinea pig. ;)

Kees Cook

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