Re: Kerberos delegation support in libpq and postgres_fdw

From: Stephen Frost <sfrost(at)snowman(dot)net>
To: Jacob Champion <pchampion(at)vmware(dot)com>
Cc: "pgsql-hackers(at)lists(dot)postgresql(dot)org" <pgsql-hackers(at)lists(dot)postgresql(dot)org>, "magnus(at)hagander(dot)net" <magnus(at)hagander(dot)net>, "peter(dot)eisentraut(at)enterprisedb(dot)com" <peter(dot)eisentraut(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>, "tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us" <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Subject: Re: Kerberos delegation support in libpq and postgres_fdw
Date: 2022-04-08 04:21:26
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* Stephen Frost (sfrost(at)snowman(dot)net) wrote:
> * Jacob Champion (pchampion(at)vmware(dot)com) wrote:
> > On Fri, 2022-03-11 at 19:39 -0500, Stephen Frost wrote:
> > > Even so, I’m not against adding an option… but exactly how would that
> > > option be configured? Server level? On the HBA line? role level..?
> >
> > In the OPTIONS for CREATE SERVER, maybe? At least for the FDW case.
> I'm a bit confused on this. The option to allow or not allow delegated
> credentials couldn't be something that's in the CREATE SERVER for FDWs
> as it applies to more than just FDWs but also dblink and anything else
> where we reach out from PG to contact some other system.

Thinking it through further, it seems like the right place to allow an
administrator to control if credentials are allowed to be delegated is
through a pg_hba option. Attached patch adds such an option.

> > > > Also, we're
> > > > globally ignoring whatever ccache was set by an administrator. Can't
> > > > two postgres_fdw connections from the same backend process require
> > > > different settings?
> > >
> > > Settings..? Perhaps, but delegated credentials aren’t really
> > > settings, so not really sure what you’re suggesting here.
> >
> > I mean that one backend server might require delegated credentials, and
> > another might require whatever the admin has already set up in the
> > ccache, and the user might want to use tables from both servers in the
> > same session.
> That an admin might have a credential cache that's picked up and used
> for connections from a regular user backend to another system strikes me
> as an altogether concerning idea. Even so, in such a case, the admin
> would have had to set up the user mapping with 'password required =
> false' or it wouldn't have worked for a non-superuser anyway, so I'm not
> sure that I'm too worried about this case.

To address this, I also added a new GUC which allows an administrator to
control what the credential cache is set to for user-authenticated
backends, with a default of MEMORY:, which should generally be safe and
won't cause a user backend to pick up on a file-based credential cache
which might exist on the server somewhere. This gives the administrator
the option to set it to more-or-less whatever they'd like though, so if
they want to set it to a file-based credential cache, then they can do
so (I did put some caveats about doing that into the documentation as I
don't think it's generally a good idea to do...).

> > > > I notice that gss_store_cred_into() has a companion,
> > > > gss_acquire_cred_from(). Is it possible to use that to pull out our
> > > > delegated credential explicitly by name, instead of stomping on the
> > > > global setup?
> > >
> > > Not really sure what is meant here by global setup..? Feeling like
> > > this is a follow on confusion from maybe mixing server vs client
> > > libpq?
> >
> > By my reading, the gss_store_cred_into() call followed by
> > the setenv("KRB5CCNAME", ...) is effectively performing global
> > configuration for the process. Any KRB5CCNAME already set up by the
> > server admin is going to be ignored from that point onward. Is that
> > accurate?
> The process, yes, but I guess I disagree on that being 'global'- it's
> just for that PG backend process.

The new krb_user_ccache is a lot closer to 'global', though it's
specifically for user-authenticated backends (allowing the postmaster
and other things like replication connections to use whatever the
credential cache is set to by the administrator on startup), but that
seems like it makes sense to me- generally you're not going to want
regular user backends to be accessing the credential cache of the
'postgres' unix account on the server.

> Attached is an updated patch which adds the gss_release_creds call, a
> function in libpq to allow checking if the libpq connection was made
> using GSS, changes to dblink to have it check for password-or-gss when
> connecting to a remote system, and tests for dblink and postgres_fdw to
> make sure that this all works correctly.

I've added a couple more tests to address the new options too, along
with documentation for them. This is starting to feel reasonably decent
to me, at least as a first pass at supporting kerberos credential
delegation, which is definitely a feature I've been hoping we would get
into PG for quite a while. Would certainly appreciate some feedback on
this (from anyone who'd like to comment), though I know we're getting
into the last few hours before feature freeze ends.

Updated patch attached.



Attachment Content-Type Size
v5-0001-kerberos-delegation.patch text/x-diff 34.0 KB

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