Secret key management
Sharing secret keys
For sharing the following types of sensitive information related to cloud.gov, cloud.gov team members must use Fugacious links, shared over a GSA application (such as GSA Gmail or TTS Slack). The team member must share the Fugacious link only with intended recipient(s) who need to know the sensitive information.
- Secret keys
- Sensitive environment variables
- Other secret authentication information
The cloud.gov team must comply with 18F’s policies in the Handbook, with the following additional restrictions (for security and compliance reasons):
- Expiry must be set to 12 hours or fewer
- Number of opens must be set to two views, per person who needs to open it
Maintenance of system secret keys
To meet NIST security control SC-12 (1), we maintain the availability of all information on the platform in the event a cryptographic access key is lost or compromised.
Authorized federal staff rotate, encrypt, and backup keys monthly. Privileged users can access the keys only with two-factor authentication and a decryption passphrase. In the rare case that both the keys and the decryption passphrase for the backup are lost or compromised, new keys can be rotated in by authorized federal staff, while maintaining availability of information.
If you need to view/update secrets:
- Ask in #cg-platform for an account to read/write from the S3 buckets.
- Set up a named profile for the AWS CLI.
The examples below use
--profile govcloud, but replace with the name of your profile.
Generate and upload keys
Use this script to generate keys and upload them as access keys to AWS EC2 and an encrypted backup to AWS S3. You just need to provide a
BUCKET destination for the backup and a decryption
PASSPHRASE. In your terminal:
BUCKET=my-bucket PASSPHRASE=somethingorother ./generate_key.sh
Once the key is uploaded to AWS, the cf-secrets.yml file you use for deployment needs to be updated. Modify
key_name to use the new key, then start a new production deployment.
Dealing with secrets
cf.yml in the following steps for the relevant file.
All UAA clients and users and associated credentials should be created via the Cloud Foundry secrets or the service account or identity provider services. UAA accounts should not be created manually; we reserve the right to drop permissions for or deprovision hand-propped accounts.
Clone the cg-pipeline-tasks repository.
git clone https://github.com/18F/cg-pipeline-tasks.git
If you don’t already have the AWS CLI set up with credentials, see the steps above.
Download the credentials file.
mkdir -p tmp aws s3 cp s3://cloud-gov-varz/cf.yml tmp/cf.yml.enc --profile govcloud
Get the encryption passphrase.
fly -t <target> get-pipeline -p deploy-cf | less
Decrypt the secrets file.
INPUT_FILE=tmp/cf.yml.enc OUTPUT_FILE=tmp/cf.yml PASSPHRASE=... ./decrypt.sh
Don’t leave the secrets lying around (for security reasons, and because they get stale).
rm -rf tmp
- Post in #cg-platform saying you’re updating
- Follow the decryption steps above, up until the cleanup.
- Modify the
cf.ymlwith the new values.
Re-encrypt the file.
INPUT_FILE=tmp/cf.yml OUTPUT_FILE=tmp/cf.yml.enc-new PASSPHRASE=... ./encrypt.sh
Copy the new file up to S3.
aws s3 cp tmp/cf.yml.enc-new s3://cloud-gov-varz/cf.yml --profile govcloud --sse AES256
Clean up the secrets.
rm -rf tmp