Dev/About Infrastructure

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Development Notes / Design Documentation about Kicksecure Infrastructure

Current Situation[edit]

Introduction[edit] Site Security

This page talks about Kicksecure online hosting and (non-existing) testing infrastructure.

File Hosting[edit]

Hosted by mirror, downloadable using TLS.

Testing infrastructure[edit]

  • CI build environment required.
  • Automated Test Suite [1] required.
  • systemcheck



MediaWiki advantages[edit]

  • community contribution friendly - flagged revisions - usable way to allow anonymous users to edit and to let admins review changes before these go live
  • sufficient protection from spam
  • seo - plugins provide good OpenGraph meta tags and meta settings (description, images)
  • wiki templates
  • footnotes
  • expand buttons
  • footer
  • mobile view
  • mediawiki markup text file backups (but are not easily importable)
  • short and detailed (probably not unique to mediawiki)

MediaWiki disadvantages[edit]

goals for new website[edit]

  • flat file
  • git based?
  • ( compatible?
  • breadcrumbs navigation?
  • javascript free?
  • CMS free?
  • bootstrap based?
  • mobile friendly
  • illustrative images
  • quick page load times
  • footer links (legal, imprint)!
  • seo

discourse forums[edit]

TODO: archival using httrack?


See Trust#Trusting_the_Kicksecure_Website.


OCSP is only relevant in case if a TLS certificate is ever revoked.

must staple needs to be activated:

  • on web server [safe] [done]
  • inside TLS certificate [can break connectivity] [will not be implemented]


nginx bugs:


OCSP must-staple is "dead", long life CRLite.


  • OCSP - CA feature
  • OCSP stapling - server feature
  • OCSP must-staple - certificate feature
  • checking OCSP (ask CA) or checking stapled OCSP - browser feature


Due to,

  • OCSP only relevant after a TLS certificate or CA has been compromised,
  • many multiple years unfixed nginx bugs,
  • high risk of broken connectivity,
  • OCSP must-staple being unpopular,
  • browsers ignoring OCSP / must-staple with softfail,

the following actions have been taken:

  • OCSP stapling has been enabled server-side.
  • OCSP must-staple has not been set in the TLS certificate.



The problem with regular Let’s Encrypt certificates

As you know, Let’s Encrypt certificates renew every 90 days. This is not a problem in itself, however, the standard procedure is to generate a new private key with each renewal and, thus, an entirely new public key also. This will necessarily change the hashed key value that would appear in our TLSA record meaning that we would have to remember to update our DNS records on each renewal otherwise the wrong key will be specified and no one will trust our site/server/application! We need to tell Let’s Encrypt to re-use our private key so that the public key hash value does NOT change – that way our DNS record remains valid across certificate renewals.




drop-www vs yes-www[edit]


cookie isolation[edit]


Cookies are passed down to subdomains

This might be a security issue.

Quote (April 2011):

The user agent will reject cookies unless the Domain attribute specifies a scope for the cookie that would include the origin server. For example, the user agent will accept a cookie with a Domain attribute of "" or of "" from, but the user agent will not accept a cookie with a Domain attribute of "" or of "".

Quote (February 1997):

A is a FQDN string and has the form NB, where N is a non-empty name string, B has the form .B', and B' is a FQDN string. (So, domain-matches but not

Maybe fixable by hostonly cookies.


Host-only only protects cookies from being read by

cookie performance[edit]


Unnecessary cookies hurts performance

caching[edit] paraphrased and summarized: If unrelated cookies for the apex domain name ( are sent for subdomains (such as then this is bad for caching.



An ALIAS record will break DNSSEC on the bare domain (@), because @ A and @ AAAA responses will be missing the RRSIG records, which will break resolution on all resolvers.

Quote (bold added)

A, AAAA, ALIAS (not yet supported with dnssec-enabled domains), CNAME, MX, NS, TXT, WKS, SRV, LOC, SPF, CAA, SSHFP, PTR, DNAME


Cloudflare - Note: Cloudflare use CNAME Flattening. This is the same thing as an ALIAS or ANAME record

popular survey[edit]

Some of the highest traffic, most popular webstes such as are still using the www subdomain.

scurl --silent --head | grep -i location



Hide Server IP[edit]

Separate server/IP for e-mail required since it cannot be hidden by CDN.


To take advantage of Cloudflare’s performance and security benefits, we recommend you orange-cloud DNS records that handle HTTP traffic, including A, AAAA, and CNAME. However, do not orange-cloud A, AAAA, or CNAME records used to resolve MX records.  For instance, if you have an MX record that points to as your mail server, orange-clouding the A record for will break your mail traffic.
However, there are times when some of your DNS records need to remain grey-clouded. For example:

    A, AAAA, or CNAME records used for mail traffic must not be orange-clouded because email routing won’t pass through Cloudflare's proxy.
    When you have to host multiple services (for example, a website and email) on the same physical server

To mitigate this risk, we recommend that you:

    Host your email service in a server (in-house or external) that is different from your site’s origin server
    Analyze the impact of hosting multiple services on the same origin server in cases when having grey-clouded DNS records can’t be avoided
    Orange-cloud all records that share the same origin IP address as your root domain and can be safely proxied through Cloudflare


Use separate IP addresses for mail traffic and HTTP/HTTPS traffic. Cloudflare recommends using non-contiguous IPs from different IP ranges.

Compatible with SPF, DKIM and DANE?

pricing when sending through third party server:



Qubes Documentation using jekyll and markdown


  • hosted inside git
  • editable through git


  • without javascript there is no table of contents
  • without javascript, anchors are broken
  • unstable table of contents anchors(?)
  • no wiki templates support?
  • no footnote support?
  • web based editing is cumbersome
    • previews so not match actual result
    • links cannot be tested if those actually work as expected from github editor
    • can only edit whole page, not chapter wise
    • github editor does not let one use the browsers internal search function and github editor's one is cumbersome

See Also[edit]


  1. Port Tails Test or create a new one from scratch.

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