Security in Limnoria¶
Some security features are disabled by default. We know this is arguable, but enabling them would make it quite hard to start using the bot. This guide is for people who want to enable these features to make their bot as secure as possible.
Limnoria (or Gribble or Supybot) have never been audited by a security professional. We do the best we can to make it secure, but we cannot guarantee it is completely safe.
Trust in network operators¶
As you may know, by default, it is possible to do anything from IRC, including loading the Unix plugin and using the @call command. The only safeguard is checking the user calling the commands is authenticated as the owner of the bot; and network operators are able to spoof hostmasks and collect your password, thus allowing them to execute commands as the owner.
Although network operators of most well-known IRC networks are not known to do that, you should be aware of that risk.
Starting on commit 4f6a5e7db (version 2017.10.01), there is a new configuration variable, supybot.commands.allowShell, to prevent malicious network operators from getting shell access on your bot’s computer. It defaults to True to make it easy for new users to install plugins using PluginDownloader, but it is recommended you set it to False if you do not care about that feature.
Network connections / SSL¶
Background on SSL certification validation¶
It is often believed using SSL magically makes impossible any attack on your connection (from the bot to the server). It is true that it prevents passive eavesdropping, but other attack methods are still possible.
The main one involves man-in-the-middle, ie. someone acting as a proxy between you (your bot, in that case) and the IRC network. If certificates are not validated, the attacker can allow you to connect to itself using their own SSL certificate, and you would never know about it.
This is why it is important to check the SSL certificate of the server you connect to: an attacker cannot spoof a certificate, or the trust of a Certificate Authority in a network’s certificates.
Of course, this assumes there is no bug in your SSL library, the network’s, and the protocols involved.
Certificate validation in Limnoria¶
Until version 2016.02.24, Limnoria did not support certificate validation. Starting from this version, it is possible, but disabled by default, in order to not break existing bots when updating.
Certificate validation can be enabled using this command:
@config supybot.protocols.ssl.verifyCertificates true
Available validation mechanisms are Certification Authorities and fingerprint checking.
Alternatively, for networks that do not use a CA, you can give Limnoria the list of fingerprints of certificates used by the network:
@config supybot.networks.NETWORKNAME.ssl.serverFingerprints: <fingerprint1> <fingerprint2> ...
Adding fingerprints will disable CA verifications (useful if you do not want to trust CAs).
Note that you are responsible for giving the correct list of fingerprints.
Supported python versions¶
Fingerprint checking and CA validation are available in all Python versions supported by Limnoria.
Flooding via command abuse¶
Limnoria answers at most one message per command, but its message can be rather long (up to about 450 to 500 characters) for even a small command.
If this is undesirable for you, you can take the following measures:
- Limit the size of a single message with
- Limit how many messages the
@morecommand may be called to get a response to a command:
- Disable large error replies with
supybot.reply.error.noCapability, and/or send them in private with
- And check out the various variables in
For old bot configurations, you may also want to set the
capability to prevent users from using the
@scheduler add and
@scheduler repeat commands (bot configurations created with Limnoria
versions greater than 2020.05.13 already have this by default).
We also recommend you report users abusing your bot to network operators, so they take extra measures against these users if this is against their network’s policy.
By default, Limnoria exposes much of its configuration. This is by design, to improve discoverability and debugging.
Again, if this is undesirable to you, you can do the following:
- Prevent users from using the Config plugin to read the configuration:
defaultcapability add -config(note that sensitive configuration variables are, of course, always hidden from users by default).
- Prevent users from listing available plugins and commands:
defaultcapability add -misc.list,
defaultcapability add -misc.apropos, and
defaultcapability add -plugin
- Hide the version from users:
defaultcapability add -misc.version, and also make sure it’s not in
- Hide capabilities users are missing to run a command:
- Replace errors with a generic reply:
Note that, when asking for help involving an error, you should enable verbose errors when providing logs (ie. reset these last values to their default), so it is easier to help you diagnose your problems.