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Re: authinfo gnutls netrc.el auth-sources & smtpmail-starttls-credential

From: Ted Zlatanov
Subject: Re: authinfo gnutls netrc.el auth-sources & smtpmail-starttls-credentials
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 09:40:53 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/23.0.94 (gnu/linux)

On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 20:52:11 -0400 MON KEY <address@hidden> wrote: 

MK> Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden> writes:
MK> Please see my post elsewhere on this thread vis a vis imap.el
>> I don't think it's necessary to have the debugging facilities of
>> imap.el, because auth-source.el does not have so much external

MK> The langauge of those two defcustom forms is quite communicative re:
MK> logging/debugging and do well to extend clarity when informing the user just
MK> how much rope he has been given. IIWM I would adopt the same or similar
MK> tone with any such revisions/additions made to auth-sources defcustom 
MK> related docs.

You mean something like this, perhaps:

  "If non-nil, log the authentication tokens obtained by auth-source
into `*Messages*'.

Note that username, passwords and other privacy sensitive information
may be stored in the *Messages* buffer.  It is not written to disk, but
it is visible to all Emacs code and some other attacks (depending on
your OS).  Do not enable this variable unless you are comfortable with
that.  Also see `auth-source-hide-passwords'."

(BTW, auth-source-hide-passwords defaults to t and does what you'd

I think more information should be in the documentation (auth.texi) and
not in the variable docstrings, but a more verbose explanation is
definitely a good thing.

>> interaction that needs to be debugged.  There's just three places where
>> messages are emitted right now.  Just auth-source-debug as a boolean,

MK> Its not the amount (or lack thereof), but rather the manner in which
MK> the logging/debugging occurs and _how_ the user is made aware of bot
MK> the existence of such facilities and the potential pitfalls of their
MK> use.

auth-source.el is only relevant if the user has configured
`auth-sources' explicitly or has an ~/.authinfo.gpg file (AFAIK this
file is not a convention for any other package within or outside Emacs).
I think this mitigates the security risk significantly, because the user
has to be aware of auth-source.el in order to use it.  Note also my
patch disables auth-source.el logging by default.


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