On Fri, 27 Nov 2009 23:41:40 -0600, Jeffrey Ollie <j...@ocjtech.us> wrote:
> That's great that you're willing to take on the task, but as I do a
> lot of work for Fedora I tend to think about these things differently.
>  It's not about a project here or there making private copies of some
> code, it's about tracking down *all* of the projects that have private
> copies of the code when something goes wrong, especially when there
> are security implications.

Hi Jeffrey,

Have you actually *looked* at the implementation of libsha1.c that we
have in notmuch? I can't say with 100% certainty that it's free of any
buffer overruns, but I can see that it's not doing any memory allocation
nor network communication. So there are entire classes of security
problems, (such as have afflicted libraries in your examples), that just
aren't present here.

And as for security compromises due to a bug in the cryptographic nature
of this function---well, notmuch isn't even *using* SHA-1 for any secure
purpose.

The actual functionality that we need here is *so* small that I am
unwilling to introduce a required dependency on any library as large as
libcrypt. I mean, look at the actual sizes we're talking about

$ size lib/notmuch.a
   text    data     bss     dec     hex filename
   6774       0       0    6774    1a76 libsha1.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
   2372       0       4    2376     948 message-file.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
    756       0       0     756     2f4 messages.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
    405       0       0     405     195 sha1.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
    406       0       0     406     196 tags.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
    842       0       0     842     34a xutil.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
  15834     100       1   15935    3e3f database.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
   2826       0       4    2830     b0e index.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
  11834       0       4   11838    2e3e message.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
   7042       0       0    7042    1b82 query.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)
   2553       0       0    2553     9f9 thread.o (ex lib/notmuch.a)

$ size /usr/lib/libgcrypt.so.11.5.2 
   text    data     bss     dec     hex filename
 466236    8424     748  475408   74110 /usr/lib/libgcrypt.so.11.5.2

You can see that libgcrypt is 7 times the size of all of libnotmuch.a
combined.

Now, if somebody wanted to maintain libsha1 inside a distribution like
Debian, say, then I'd be happy to link against that version rather than
a locally compiled version. And like I said earlier, if people would
rather link against a large cyptographic library for this one tiny
function, then we could arrange that too, but I don't think that
justifies dropping this code from notmuch and introducing a hard
dependency.

-Carl

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