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Taikun OCP Guide

Table of Contents

Credential Encryption

As of the Newton release, keystone encrypts all credentials stored in
the default sql backend. Credentials are encrypted with the
same mechanism used to encrypt Fernet tokens, fernet.
Keystone provides only one type of credential encryption but the
encryption provider is pluggable in the event you wish to supply a
custom implementation.

This document details how credential encryption works, how to migrate
existing credentials in a deployment, and how to manage encryption keys
for credentials.

Configuring credential

The configuration for credential encryption is straightforward. There
are only two configuration options needed:

provider = fernet
key_repository = /etc/keystone/credential-keys/

[credential] provider defaults to the only option
supplied by keystone, fernet. There is no reason to change
this option unless you wish to provide a custom credential encryption
implementation. The [credential] key_repository location is
a requirement of using fernet but will default to the
/etc/keystone/credential-keys/ directory. Both
[credential] key_repository and
[fernet_tokens] key_repository define locations for keys
used to encrypt things. One holds the keys to encrypt and decrypt
credentials and the other holds keys to encrypt and decrypt tokens. It
is imperative that these repositories are managed separately and they
must not share keys. Meaning they cannot share the same directory path.
The [credential] key_repository is only allowed to have
three keys. This is not configurable and allows for credentials to be
re-encrypted periodically with a new encryption key for the sake of

How credential encryption

The implementation of this feature did not change any existing
credential API contracts. All changes are transparent to the user unless
you’re inspecting the credential backend directly.

When creating a credential, keystone will encrypt the
blob attribute before persisting it to the backend.
Keystone will also store a hash of the key that was used to encrypt the
information in that credential. Since Fernet is used to encrypt
credentials, a key repository consists of multiple keys. Keeping track
of which key was used to encrypt each credential is an important part of
encryption key management. Why this is important is detailed later in
the Encryption key management

When updating an existing credential’s blob attribute,
keystone will encrypt the new blob and update the key

When listing or showing credentials, all blob attributes
are decrypted in the response. Neither the cipher text, nor the hash of
the key used to encrypt the blob are exposed through the
API. Furthermore, the key is only used internally to keystone.

Encryption key management

Key management of [credential] key_repository is handled
with three keystone-manage commands:

  1. keystone-manage credential_setup
  2. keystone-manage credential_rotate
  3. keystone-manage credential_migrate

keystone-manage credential_setup will populate
[credential] key_repository with new encryption keys. This
must be done in order for proper credential encryption to work, with the
exception of the null key. This step should only be done once.

keystone-manage credential_rotate will create and rotate
a new encryption key in the [credential] key_repository.
This will only be done if all credential key hashes match the hash of
the current primary key. If any credential has been encrypted with an
older key, or secondary key, the rotation will fail. Failing the
rotation is necessary to prevent overrotation, which would leave some
credentials indecipherable since the key used to encrypt it no longer
exists. If this step fails, it is possible to forcibly re-key all
credentials using the same primary key with
keystone-manage credential_migrate.

keystone-manage credential_migrate will check the
backend for credentials whose key hash doesn’t match the hash of the
current primary key. Any credentials with a key hash mismatching the
current primary key will be re-encrypted with the current primary key.
The new cipher text and key hash will be updated in the backend.