Bug 120843 - Clear key storage is security problem
Summary: Clear key storage is security problem
Alias: None
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: kernel   
(Show other bugs)
Version: 1
Hardware: All
OS: Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Arjan van de Ven
QA Contact:
Keywords: Security
Depends On:
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2004-04-14 14:10 UTC by Sepehr
Modified: 2007-11-30 22:10 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2004-05-03 00:56:26 UTC
Type: ---
Regression: ---
Mount Type: ---
Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
Category: ---
oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

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Description Sepehr 2004-04-14 14:10:46 UTC
Description of problem:
I filed a bug under the redhat-config-network but rejected because it
appears to belong here (see issue 20731). Basically our corporate
systems person refuses to setup my wireless because as he puts it she
puts it she could lose her job. Main reason is that the wep key is a
highly guarded code here. If they set up my laptop I can see the key
just by opening any of the wireless network configuration utiltities
or just running iwconfig as root. Since root access is required for me
and others to do our work this is a serious security problem.
Therefore, the wep key must be encripted on the system as it is in
other os's.

Comment 1 Bill Nottingham 2004-04-14 19:50:58 UTC
If you're root, you'll always be able to get it.

Comment 2 Sepehr 2004-04-14 20:49:31 UTC
Not true!! If you do one way encription like the /etc/passwd file it
is very secure. Look at:


WEP keys need to be kept even more secure than you do passwords.

Comment 3 Bill Nottingham 2004-04-14 21:10:43 UTC
You may want to read:



Comment 4 Sepehr 2004-04-15 20:19:06 UTC
OK so wep has problems. That's not the point. No security system is
perfect only a set of barriers to prevent inadvertant breaches or to
slow down attackers. If it takes a day or two of sniffing to hack the
wep code that is a barrier. Besides as the wifi security standards
improved wouldn't you want have laid the foundation for that to sit
on. Instead of throwing up your arms and saying, well there is no
point since it has been hacked? I'm noting that redhat is wasting its
time having this page on a https site since that can be cracked too.

Back to my main point. I'm in a real corporate environment (6000
employees) and clear text key storage is not acceptable by the IT
department. I would assume the same for many others.

Comment 5 Bill Nottingham 2004-04-15 20:31:12 UTC
Assigning to kernel, then.

root will easily be able to get a plaintext key without kernel changes.

Comment 6 Ralf Ertzinger 2004-04-28 16:47:23 UTC
Please read the documentation about how WEP works. It needs the key in
the clear to do encryption in the first place.

Comment 7 Alan Cox 2004-05-03 00:56:03 UTC
No OS keeps WEP keys somehow magically safe. The only stuff that uses
smart cards I know doesn't use WEP.

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