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Possible Jenkins Project Infrastructure Compromise

R. Tyler Croy
R. Tyler Croy
April 22, 2016

Last week, the infrastructure team identified the potential compromise of a key infrastructure machine. This compromise could have taken advantage of, what could be categorized as, an attempt to target contributors with elevated access. Unfortunately, when facing the uncertainty of a potential compromise, the safest option is to treat it as if it were an actual incident, and react accordingly. The machine in question had access to binaries published to our primary and secondary mirrors, and to contributor account information.

Since this machine is not the source of truth for Jenkins binaries, we verified that the files distributed to Jenkins users: plugins, packages, etc, were not tampered with. We cannot, however, verify that contributor account information was not accessed or tampered with and, as a proactive measure, we are issuing a password reset for all contributor accounts. We have also spent significant effort migrating all key services off of the potentially compromised machine to (virtual) hardware so the machine can be re-imaged or decommissioned entirely.

What you should do now

If you have ever filed an issue in JIRA, edited a wiki page, released a plugin or otherwise created an account via the Jenkins website, you have a Jenkins community account. You should be receiving a password reset email shortly, but if you have re-used your Jenkins account password with other services we strongly encourage you to update your passwords with those other services. If you’re not already using one, we also encourage the use of a password manager for generating and managing service-specific passwords.

The generated password sent out is temporary and will expire if you do not use it to update your account. Once it expires you will need recover your account with the password reset in the accounts app.

This does not apply to your own Jenkins installation, or any account that you may use to log into it. If you do not have a Jenkins community account, there is no action you need to take.

What we’re doing to prevent events like this in the future

As stated above, the potentially compromised machine is being removed from our infrastructure. That helps address the immediate problem but doesn’t put guarantees in place for the future. To help prevent potential issues in the future we’re taking the following actions:

  1. Incorporating more security policy enforcement into our Puppet-driven infrastructure. Without a configuration management tool enforcing a given state for some legacy services, user error and manual misconfigurations can adversely affect project security. As of right now, all key services are managed by Puppet.

  2. Balkanizing our machine and permissions model more. The machine affected was literally the first independent (outside of Sun) piece of project infrastructure and like many legacy systems, it grew to host a multitude of services. We are rapidly evolving away from that model with increasing levels of user and host separation for project services.

  3. In a similar vein, we have also introduced a trusted zone in our infrastructure which is not routable on the public internet, where sensitive operations, such as generating update center information, can be managed and secured more effectively.

  4. We are performing an infrastructure permissions audit. Some portions of our infrastructure are 6+ years old and have had contributors come and go. Any inactive users with unnecessarily elevated permissions in the project infrastructure will have those permissions revoked.

I would like to extend thanks, on behalf of the Jenkins project, to CloudBees for their help in funding and migrating this infrastructure.

If you have further questions about the Jenkins project infrastructure, you can join us in the #jenkins-infra channel on Freenode or in an Infrastructure Q&A session I’ve scheduled for next Wednesday (April 27) at 20:00 UTC (12:00 PST).

About the author

R. Tyler Croy

R. Tyler Croy

R. Tyler Croy has been part of the Jenkins project for the past seven years. While avoiding contributing any Java code, Tyler is involved in many of the other aspects of the project which keep it running, such as this website, infrastructure, governance, etc.