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Re: Writing svn-agent (Was Re: [PATCH] default to --no-auth-cache)

From: Karl Fogel <kfogel_at_newton.ch.collab.net>
Date: 2003-01-16 16:01:48 CET

Benjamin Pflugmann <benjamin-svn-dev@pflugmann.de> writes:
> No, I meant the way ssh-agent works: encrypted key on disk, plain text
> key (or passphrase) in memory. Else, you would have to type your
> passphrase each time it is accessed and nothing would be won (in terms
> of usability).

Sorry; of course you're right. But the point remains that now we've
introduced another passphrase into the user experience.

Hmmm. We're getting a bit off-track here, as far as immediate,
pre-1.0 concerns for Subversion. All I'm trying to say is:

   1. We currently store passwords in the working copy. Ryan has
      correctly pointed out that this is bad, because it makes sharing
      working copies a security compromise.

   2. If we store the auth data into ~/.subversion/ (or equivalent)
      instead, we move up to the same security as CVS, which, after
      all, is the software we're trying to replace.

   3. With svn-agent, we can get even more security, but at the cost
      of additional inconvenience for users and additional development
      and maintenance complexity for ourselves. Therefore, although
      svn-agent is certainly a good idea, it cannot be our only 1.0
      security option. We should first support option (2), because
      that's the security/convenience tradeoff people are accustomed
      to from CVS (and it's a sensible one, for this application).

That's the big picture, IMHO.

-K

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Received on Thu Jan 16 16:48:08 2003

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