- Created by Hashicorp (e.g. Vagrant)
- Tool for managing secrets and storing them encrypted. It controls access to tokens, passwords, certificates, API keys etc - things that would normally not be checked into a source control system.
- It can handle all aspects of sensitive information - generation, storage, usage and revocation.
- Vault is a go application with a REST/CLI interface
- CLI uses
vault binary with subcommands (similar to git)
- REST API uses GET/POST/DELETE passing the token with the header
- Can use Ansible to make REST requests to Vault and do something with the output
- Can store existing secrests or can dynamically generate new secrets to control access to third party resources or provide time limited access.
read secrets from the vault.
- Can use short-lived secrets thus limiting "window of opportunity" to use stolen secrets.
- Handles leasing, key revocation, key rolling and auditing.
- Access control policies control who can access what.
- Keys can be rolled to new versions while retaining ability to decrypt older secrets.
- Audit logs track all authenticated client interaction. These logs can be sent to multiple backends for further processing.
- Can use tokens - strings sent as a header on every http request
- Initial install creates a root token - similar to root user, we need to be careful using this. Should create other limited users for normal use.
token-create creates a new token.
- Can also authenticate using LDAP, JW, TLS among others.
- Tokens form a hierarchy and each child can only have at most same level of privileges as the parent
- Invalidating a token also invalidates the children tokens.
- Tokens have properties
- Can be renewed?
- Maximum usage count
- Vault has a few backends. These are virtual file systems with some logic
- For example, AWS backend will create IAM credentials on demand - dynamic secrets.
- Persistence backend provides storage for all secrets.
- Vault supports a range of secret types e.g. key-value, crypto keys, dynamically created
- Each type has a mount point (REST API prefix), set of operations and configuration parameters
- key-value pairs available under the given path
- Can have versioning on the values (non versioned updates replace existing value)
Dynamically Generated Secrets
- Generated on the fly whenever requested by an application.
- For example, Database credentials, SSH Key Pairs, X509 Certificates, AWS Credentials, Google Service accounts, Active Directory accounts.
- We provide credentials to connect to the service and a role to create the new user & grant relevant permissions
- Can expire credentials based on time and renew based on customer request and backend support.
- Vault doesn't store the master key in the main server so can't access data by default - in sealed state.
- Can unseal with the master key and then the Vault will be available to accept API requests.
- On initialisation Vault displays master share values (and never again). To unseal we must enter three of these.