Security & Threat model
As a context-aware access proxy, Pomerium's security model holds data confidentiality, integrity, accountability, authentication, authorization, and availability as the highest priority concerns. This page outlines Pomerium's security goals and threat model.
Pomerium's threat model includes:
Validating authentication. Though not itself an Identity Provider, Pomerium incorporates Single-Sign-On flow with third party providers to delegate authentication, and populate identity details for authorization decisions. Pomerium ensures that a request is backed by a valid user session from a trusted Identity Provider.
Enforcing authorization. Pomerium ensures that only authorized users can access services, or applications to which they are entitled access.
- For HTTP based services, authorization will be made on a per request basis.
- Otherwise, for TCP based services, authorization will be made on a per session basis.
Protecting data in transit. All communication is encrypted and mutually authenticated when certificates are provided. This applies to communication between:
- Pomerium and its services.
- Pomerium and upstream services and applications.
- Pomerium and downstream clients (e.g. user's browser or device).
- Pomerium and the databroker's storage system.
Protecting data at rest. Sensitive data is encrypted. This applies to all data in the databroker including:
- Session, user, and directory data; as well as any other identity or contextual data.
- Service secrets (TLS certificates, Identity provider credentials)
Ensuring availability. Pomerium aims to be fault tolerant, and horizontally scalable. Pomerium inherits Envoy's availability threat model.
Providing auditability and accountability. Pomerium provides logs with associated context for auditing purposes.
Pomerium's threat model does not include:
- Protecting against arbitrary control of a trusted third-party provider. For instance, if your identity provider is hacked, an attacker can impersonate a user in Pomerium.
- Protecting against memory analysis of a running Pomerium instance. If an attacker can attach a debugger to a running instance of Pomerium, they can inspect confidential data in flight.
- Protecting against arbitrary control of the storage backend. If an attacker controls your database, they can corrupt data.
- Protecting an upstream application's internal access control system.
- Protecting against physical access.
Receiving Security Updates
The best way to receive security announcements is to subscribe to the pomerium-announce mailing list. Any messages pertaining to a security issue will be prefixed with [security].
In general, Pomerium follows Go's security policy and uses the following disclosure process:
- Once the security report is received it is assigned a primary handler. This person coordinates the fix and release process.
- The issue is confirmed and a list of affected software is determined.
- Code is audited to find any potential similar problems.
- Fixes are prepared for the most recent major releases and the head/main revision.
- When the fixes are applied, announcements are sent to pomerium-announce.
This process can take some time. Every effort will be made to handle the bug in as timely a manner as possible, however it's important that we follow the process described above to ensure that disclosures are handled consistently.
Reporting a Security Bug
Please notify us of any potential vulnerability discovered in Pomerium. We will work with you to resolve the issue promptly. Thank you for helping to keep Pomerium and our users safe! Though at this time we do not have a paid bug bounty program, we deeply appreciate any effort to discover and disclose security vulnerabilities responsibly.
All security bugs in Pomerium should be reported by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Your email will be acknowledged within 48 hours, and you'll receive a more detailed response to your email within 72 hours indicating the next steps in handling your report. This response policy applies only to Pomerium itself, not to our marketing or docs sites.
While researching, we'd like you to refrain from:
- Any form of Denial of Service (DoS)
- Social engineering or phishing of Pomerium employees or contractors
- Any attacks against Pomerium's physical property or data centers
We may revise these guidelines from time to time. The most current version of the guidelines will be available at https://pomerium.com/docs/community/security.
Though we accept PGP-encrypted email, please only use it for critical security reports.
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