Status Documentation

Threat-modeling New Features at Status

Prerequisite reads:

The Security Process intends to implement security as an integral part of
software development.

That means that

  • the code changes codebase should be assessed;

  • threat-modelling should be done;

  • risks should be found, documented and mitigated;

before the code is merged to our develop branch.

Do we need to do that for every change?

For every change/GHI we assess if it affects security & privacy of our app. If
not, we can add a github label “Security: Skip” to it

Threat modeling should only be done for the features & fixes that do affect
privacy & security.

A simple checklist to assess if we need to threat model.

We should always threat-model:

  • the change works with something that is received from outside the security perimeter (downloaded from the internet, input from the user, DApps, cloud backups, etc);

  • the change uses or changes behaviour of handling sensitive data;

  • the change changes security mechanisms of the app itself.

Everything else might be skipped. This checklist will most probably be improved
in the future.

Size of Change

It doesn’t matter. Sometimes 1 LoC change can uncover a huge attack surface.

How to do that?

To spreat the security culture around the company, most of the actual job for
threat-modeling should be done by the contributor itself, while the security
champion reviews and corrects it.

The process looks roughly like that:

  • The Security Champion identifies if that change needs to be security-checked.
    The result of this step is either a label “Security: Skip” or a comment about
    necessity of threat modeling.

  • The contributor does a short threat analysis and risk assessment. The result of that is an informal list of threats that are identified.

      - faking "Status Support" chatroom. CRITICAL; might leak backup phrase
  • This list then gets reviewed by the security champion. If the security
    champion isn’t sure about that, he/she can ask for help in #security channel.

  • The change is approved (and stamped with an appropriate github label:

    • all the CRITICAL/HIGH risks are mitigated;

    • some HIGH risks are still there, but they are documented and there is
      a consensus between the security champion, the contributor and the PO and
      the TO of the appropriate team that this risk is what we are willing to
      take for now.

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