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Re: [HTCondor-users] Security of "Owner"

On 10/18/2016 6:32 PM, Kandes, Martin wrote:
Hi all,

I'm trying to isolate execute nodes by specific users using START
expressions. e.g., [1]. I did one simple test [2], which appears like
another user cannot hijack another Owner's name. Are there any other
security implications I should be thinking of?

So the default config has the schedd securely authenticating the user who is submitting the job via filesystem authentication and setting that to the Owner, so that is all good.

The question you should ask yourself now is how is the startd (on the execute node) setup to authenticate that is it talking to a "trusted schedd" ? By a trusted schedd, I mean one that can be trusted to have securely authenticated the submitting user. HTCondor uses a chain of trust - the schedd authenticates the submitting user, and then the startd authenticates the schedd. If your pool is setup to use some form of credential based authentication (i.e. authentication methods like PASSWORD, GSI, SSL, KERBEROS, ...), you are probably good. If your pool is using host-based authentication (like *.my.domain.edu), you need to trust all users that can login to the trusted hosts to deal with the fact that a determined malicious user could login to a submit node and run their own hacked/modified/misconfigured schedd binary which could misrepresent the Owner to the startd on the execute node.

HTCondor supports all sorts of authentication mechanisms; see Section 3.6 of the HTCondor Manual. If your nodes already have GSI host certs installed, I'd use that. If your nodes already SSL host certs installed (and if you use Puppet, they probably already do), you could go with that - see HOWTO recipe at
And finally if you don't have either of those, it is quick and easy to install a "pool password" file on each node that is readable only by root, and tell HTCondor to only trust other daemons that also know the secret. See the Manual or the HOWTO recipe at


Hope this helps


Marty Kandes


START = (Owner == "mkandes")


[1626] emfajard@pcf-osg ~$ condor_qedit 11676.0 Owner mkandes
Update of attribute "Owner" is not allowed.
Transaction failed.  No attributes were set.

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