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Keystone logs auth tokens in URLs at the INFO log level


When a client accesses Keystone using the Identity API version 2, the tokens will be logged as part of some request URLs. Specifically all requests to the tokens resource will be logged at the INFO level.

Affected Services / Software

Keystone, Grizzly, Havana, Icehouse, Juno


Tokens are used to authorize users when making API requests against OpenStack services. This allows previously authenticated users to make API requests without providing their authentication information again, such as their username and password. This makes them very sensitive when stored and transmitted on the wire. Ideally tokens should never be stored on the disk to avoid the possibility of an attacker obtaining local storage access and reusing them in the system.

Keystone logs the request URLs at the INFO level in order to make the system operations and support easier. Unfortunately when the tokens resource is accessed, the URLs include the user's secret token, like in this case: (single line, wrapped)

INFO eventlet.wsgi.server [-] - - [22/Aug/2014 12:39:01]
  "GET /v2.0/tokens/<plaintext_token> HTTP/1.1" 403 325 0.006539

Large systems often use remote logging mechanisms, which may use unencrypted protocols such as syslog/udp. This could lead to distributing the logfile entries containing tokens in plaintext over untrusted networks. The target log collection systems may also use different authorization rules than the local log files, which could enable access to the tokens by support staff, or to third parties storing the logs.

Additionally any load balancers and proxies processing the same request may be logging the URL on their own. Their configuration and solution to this problem is out of scope of this note and they should be checked separately.

Version 3 of the Identity API does not pass the tokens in the URLs anymore. This information is sent using the request headers or POST data instead.

Recommended Actions

Where possible, users and services interacting with the Keystone service should be using the Identity API v3 endpoint. If that's not possible, restricting the Keystone's logging level to WARN will fix the immediate problem at the cost of removing potentially useful log information. Due to various ways Keystone may be deployed and configured, interaction of the 'debug', 'verbose', 'default_log_levels' and any wsgi server options should be considered for this change. Keystone deployed via servers other than eventlet will need their own solution.

If logging of all requests is required, this may be achieved by using a third-party proxy, like Apache or Nginx with a configuration that does not write the complete URL into the logs. For example Nginx can be configured to switch to a customised log format using directive 'access_log' only for requests matching location '/v2.0/tokens/...'.

Contacts / References