Package Management Security
Source: University of Arizona
Package management is the task of determining which packages should be installed on a host and then downloading and installing those packages. This paper examines the popular package managers APT and YUM and presents nine feasible attacks on them. There are attacks that install malicious packages, deny users package updates, or cause the host to crash. This paper identifies three rules of package management security: don't trust the repository, the trusted entity with the most information should be the one who signs, and don't install untrusted packages. The violation of these rules leads to the described vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, many of the flaws are architectural in nature, so repair requires more than patches to APT and YUM.