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Ask Slashdot: Self-Hosting Git Repositories? 165

Posted by timothy
from the that-sounds-recursive dept.
mpol writes "We're all aware of PRISM and the NSA deals with software houses. Just today it was in the news that even Microsoft gives zero-day exploits to the NSA, who use them to prepare themselves, but also use the exploits to break into other systems. At my company we use Git with some private repositories. It's easy to draw the conclusion that git-hosting in the cloud, like Github or Bitbucket, will lead to sharing the sourcecode with the NSA. Self-hosting our Git repositories seems like a good and safe idea then. The question then becomes which software to use. It should be Open Source and under a Free License, that's for sure. Software like GitLab and GNU Savane seem good candidates. What other options are there, and how do they stack up against each other? What experience do people have with them?"
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Ask Slashdot: Self-Hosting Git Repositories?

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  • GitBlt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stanlyb (1839382) on Friday June 14, 2013 @07:02PM (#44012463)
    Pretty good web interface. But in general, you dont need any special repository server, as GIT itself is the server, and client, etc. The only difference between dedicated server and a simple shared folder is the authentication, and the questionable convenience of having a web interface.
  • by Nutria (679911) on Friday June 14, 2013 @07:05PM (#44012475)

    It's easy to draw the conclusion that git-hosting in the cloud, like Github or Bitbucket, will lead to sharing the sourcecode

    Your "family jewels" live on someone else's machine, which is purposefully designed to let anyone on the Internet get access to it. So of course some Others* are going to get access to it even though you've password protected it.

    * And it doesn't even have to be PRISM, Echelon or the DOJ. Your competition, plain old script kiddies, Russian cyber-criminals, Chinese hackers and a host of others might break in.

  • No, you still misunderstood. OP was asking for an open + free solution for self hosting, not saying that all their code they wanted to host is open + free.

    This was the important part:

    At my company we use Git with some private repositories.

    The private repositories are key. Those are not open. They may contain code which will eventually be released under an open and/or free license, but they are not currently. OP wants to take those out of "the cloud", using open/free solutions.

  • Re:Why hide? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by murdocj (543661) on Friday June 14, 2013 @08:22PM (#44012849)

    That's my question... so the NSA *might* be able to access your source... if that's your biggest problem, I want to invest in your company!

  • Re:BS fatalism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Friday June 14, 2013 @08:42PM (#44012915)

    LOL, I'm not saying anyone HAS done anything. The point is, once you assume a certain level of paranoia the number of things to be paranoid about, and the number of them which are utterly beyond your ability to control grows almost without bound. Limit your objectives to those which make sense, and don't worry about the things that are beyond your control.

    You'd think that backdoors and such inserted by compilers etc would be found, but actually Ken Thompson successfully injected a backdoor into Unix early on via the PCC (Portable C Compiler) which allowed him access to ANY Unix system for a number of years. It spread to pretty much every system in existence and was never detected before he finally revealed its existence in order to demonstrate exactly my point. This was accomplished via a 'double code injection'. When PCC compiled itself it added a chunk of code that injected a backdoor during the compilation of the login program. Once the first generation of this back door existed the source was removed from PCC, but of course since PCC was self-hosting the ONLY way to compile it was with itself, and since the copy that was used for that HAD logically to be descended from the original binary the injection and the back door were virtually undetectable.

    Obviously not every such scheme would work and remain hidden for years, but it is demonstrably possible. Its certainly not too much to think that there are systems that DO contain back doors of some high degree of subtlety. For instance it would be MUCH easier for Windows to contain some for instance, and the NSA etc have almost certainly operatives who work for MS.

    Frankly, don't loose sleep over it. Software at some level simply cannot be truly secure.

  • by MtHuurne (602934) on Friday June 14, 2013 @09:32PM (#44013005) Homepage

    Obviously you need to be pretty paranoid to believe that the NSA has corrupted the GNU toolchain in such a way that it inserts back doors in every OS kernel it compiles, that the debugger has code inserted in it to not display said OS code, etc, but it is technically possible.

    If there was only one program that could display object files, it could be done. But any number of programs can display object files, including plain hex editors. If every single hex editor would have been compromised, we would have noticed by now. And a compiler that can detect "oh, this code is a hex editor, I'd better patch it to make it hide the nasty stuff when it's run" is way beyond what can currently be created, certainly not running fast enough on an ordinary PC to avoid detection.

    Besides, it's not the question of whether the NSA can access your files if they consider it their highest priority. The problem is that if there is an easy, low-cost way to access your files, an individual rogue agent might do it and hand your files to your competitor (a favor for a friend or for a little extra cash) without the rest of the NSA even knowing about it, or finding out only after the fact.

  • by Eskarel (565631) on Friday June 14, 2013 @10:14PM (#44013123)

    No, the OP is just a paranoid douche bag. He thinks the NSA is out to get him (which they very well could be), but then wants someone to give him an off the shelf product to magically make his source NSA safe. He complains about Microsoft sharing zero days with the NSA and then wants an open source solution which by design will share zero days with everyone, including the NSA.

    In essence the only way to actually make this work if you really really really want to be NSA proof and still have your system externally accessible is as follows.

    1. Create a local unhosted Git Repository
    2. Put your source in said git repository.
    3. Encrypt the git repository using a decent private key and not some bullshit from verisign which was useless before everyone knew the NSA was spying on them.
    4. Host the repository wherever the fuck you like, you can stick it on a public web page title "NSA Come Get My Source Code" with no password if you want.to as there's no evidence that the NSA can actually break strong encryption.

    5. Download the Encrypted Repository, Decrypt it and do your merges and whatnot. For bonus points air gap the system you download the repository on and the system which holds your decrypted source.

    This will of course be a gigantic pain in the ass and remove nearly all the benefits of having a hosted solution in the first place, but what it will actually do, unlike any other option is actually work. You will have a "hosted" Git Repository which can be accessed by people who have the keys and no one else, at least until the bad guys get your keys.

    Of course all of this is completely unnecessary and misses the entire point of the Prism exercise, but that's really beside the point.

  • Re:Chinese Hosting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SirSlud (67381) on Saturday June 15, 2013 @01:13AM (#44013547) Homepage

    More importantly, why should you be on the defensive? Isn't it good to know both things? Is it somehow a binary choice between wanting to know about the two issues? Snowden is the messenger, not the message, and you probably have a higher likelihood of impacting domestic policy than raising awareness to the 'scandal' that is foreign governments trying to disrupt or influence local politics. Especially since it doesn't take any tinfoil whatsoever to discuss USA's storied history of doing the same. This strawman of somebody who thinks that China would never stoop to what the USA stoops to all the time is pretty hilarious. This is what governments do, the world over. The idea that the USA isn't doing this, or wouldn't do it in the future is downright silly given the history of unilateral foreign interference by all world super powers.

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