monkeysphere - ssh and TLS authentication framework using OpenPGP Web of Trust
is a framework to leverage the OpenPGP web of trust for
OpenSSH and TLS key-based authentication. OpenPGP keys are tracked via GnuPG,
and added to the authorized_keys and known_hosts files used by OpenSSH for
connection authentication. Monkeysphere can also be used by a validation agent
to validate TLS connections (e.g. https).
Each host that uses the Monkeysphere
to authenticate its remote users
needs some way to determine that those users are who they claim to be. SSH
permits key-based authentication, but we want instead to bind authenticators
to human-comprehensible user identities. This switch from raw keys to User IDs
makes it possible for administrators to see intuitively who has access to an
account, and it also enables end users to transition keys (and revoke
compromised ones) automatically across all Monkeysphere
The User IDs and certifications that the Monkeysphere
relies on are
found in the OpenPGP Web of Trust.
However, in order to establish this binding, each host must know whose
cerifications to trust. Someone who a host trusts to certify User Identities
is called an Identity Certifier. A host must have at least one Identity
Certifier in order to bind User IDs to keys. Commonly, every ID Certifier
would be trusted by the host to fully identify any User ID, but more nuanced
approaches are possible as well. For example, a given host could specify a
dozen ID certifiers, but assign them all "marginal" trust. Then any
given User ID would need to be certified in the OpenPGP Web of Trust by at
least three of those certifiers.
It is also possible to limit the scope of trust for a given ID Certifier to a
particular domain. That is, a host can be configured to fully (or marginally)
trust a particular ID Certifier only when they certify identities within, say,
example.org (based on the e-mail address in the User ID).
The monkeysphere commands work from a set of user IDs to determine acceptable
keys for ssh and TLS authentication. OpenPGP keys are considered acceptable if
the following criteria are met:
- The key must have the `authentication' (`a') usage flag
- The key itself must be valid, i.e. it must be well-formed,
not expired, and not revoked.
- The relevant user ID must be signed by a trusted identity
The OpenPGP keys for hosts have associated `service names` (OpenPGP user IDs)
that are based on URI specifications for the service. Some examples:
Written by: Jameson Rollins <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Daniel Kahn