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Let's Encrypt failures

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Description of a lot of things that went wrong, when we increased the scale of the deployment of Let's Encrypt

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Let's Encrypt failures

  1. 1. How we broke How we broke  Let's EncryptLet's Encrypt Marian MarinovMarian Marinov mm@siteground.commm@siteground.com Chief System ArchitectChief System Architect Head of the DevOps departmentHead of the DevOps department
  2. 2. ❖❖ Who am I?Who am I? - Chief System Architect of SiteGround.com- Chief System Architect of SiteGround.com - Sysadmin since 1996- Sysadmin since 1996 - Organizer of OpenFest, BG Perl- Organizer of OpenFest, BG Perl Workshops, LUG-BG and othersWorkshops, LUG-BG and others - Teaching Network Security and- Teaching Network Security and Linux System AdministrationLinux System Administration courses in Sofia Universitycourses in Sofia University and SoftUniand SoftUni
  3. 3. GoogleGoogle Sep 8, 2016 in the end of Jan.2017 it will mark sites with CC data or passwords without HTTPS as "Not secure" Jan 31, 2017 it happened Apr 27, 2017 http sites which have forms will be added to "Not secure" in October Feb 8, 2018 it will mark all HTTP sites that don't have HTTPS as "Not secure"
  4. 4. ❖❖ Announced in the beginning of 2016Announced in the beginning of 2016 ❖❖ Lunched on April 12, 2016Lunched on April 12, 2016 ❖❖ SiteGround is one of the first sponsors of Let's Encrypt ❖❖ Wildcard certificates were introduced in March 2018 Let's EncryptLet's Encrypt
  5. 5. SiteGroundSiteGround ❖❖ In the beginning 2016 we started working on cPanel plugin for Let's Encrypt ❖❖ In Oct 2017 we started work on wildcard certsIn Oct 2017 we started work on wildcard certs
  6. 6. SiteGroundSiteGround ❖❖ In the beginning of Dec 2017 we decided to issue certs to every host that is hosted on our infrastructure...
  7. 7. Let the failuresLet the failures begin!!!begin!!!
  8. 8. ❖❖ We first decided to create accountWe first decided to create account for every client that we have, sofor every client that we have, so everyone can take their own Let'severyone can take their own Let's Encrypt account with them if they areEncrypt account with them if they are leaving...leaving... Creating that many accounts:Creating that many accounts: - it was slow... so we decided to do it- it was slow... so we decided to do it in parallelin parallel - about 10 requests per server- about 10 requests per server - but all servers in the same time- but all servers in the same time
  9. 9. ❖❖ We broke the infrastructure ofWe broke the infrastructure of Let's EncryptLet's Encrypt
  10. 10. ❖❖ We got a call from Let's Encrypt :)We got a call from Let's Encrypt :)
  11. 11. ❖❖ They had oneThey had one SIMPLESIMPLE request:request: Implement a global limit(across allImplement a global limit(across all of our Data Centers) to create max 2of our Data Centers) to create max 2 accounts per secondaccounts per second
  12. 12. ❖❖ Implementing such lock, withImplementing such lock, with performance and reliability in mindperformance and reliability in mind is not simple...is not simple... ❖❖ We decided to use HashiCorp'sWe decided to use HashiCorp's Consul locking for thatConsul locking for that
  13. 13. ❖❖ We have a lot of customers... suchWe have a lot of customers... such a limit was never going to bea limit was never going to be enough...enough... ❖❖ So we decided to go with a singleSo we decided to go with a single account for all servers (proposed byaccount for all servers (proposed by Let's Encrypt)Let's Encrypt)
  14. 14. ❖❖ At that point everything started toAt that point everything started to work...work... ❖❖ But we issued certs only to peopleBut we issued certs only to people that wanted SSL, not everyonethat wanted SSL, not everyone
  15. 15. ❖❖ Using certbot it took around 1minUsing certbot it took around 1min to issue a single certificateto issue a single certificate
  16. 16. ❖❖ Using certbot it took around 1minUsing certbot it took around 1min to issue a single certificateto issue a single certificate ❖❖ But we had millions of hosts...But we had millions of hosts...
  17. 17. ❖❖ Using certbot it took around 1minUsing certbot it took around 1min to issue a single certificateto issue a single certificate ❖❖ But we had millions of hosts...But we had millions of hosts... ❖❖ 1,000,000 min ~ 16,667h ~ 694 days1,000,000 min ~ 16,667h ~ 694 days
  18. 18. ❖❖ Using certbot it took around 1minUsing certbot it took around 1min to issue a single certificateto issue a single certificate ❖❖ But we had millions of hosts...But we had millions of hosts... ❖❖ 1,000,000 min ~ 16,667h ~ 694 days1,000,000 min ~ 16,667h ~ 694 days ❖❖ No problem :) We have thousands ofNo problem :) We have thousands of machines...machines...
  19. 19. ❖❖ Using certbot it took around 1minUsing certbot it took around 1min to issue a single certificateto issue a single certificate ❖❖ But we had millions of hosts...But we had millions of hosts... ❖❖ 1,000,000 min ~ 16,667h ~ 694 days1,000,000 min ~ 16,667h ~ 694 days ❖❖ No problem :) We have thousands ofNo problem :) We have thousands of machines...machines... ❖❖ We will issue them in parallel fromWe will issue them in parallel from all servers :)all servers :)
  20. 20. ➢ I don't remember why, but we decided to issue all certs between Christmas and New year :) SiteGroundSiteGround
  21. 21. Can you imagineCan you imagine the DDoSthe DDoS we caused?we caused?
  22. 22. ❖❖ 6 Data Centers on 3 continents6 Data Centers on 3 continents
  23. 23. ❖❖ 6 Data Centers on 3 continents6 Data Centers on 3 continents ❖❖ Every server trying to issue up toEvery server trying to issue up to 6 certificates in parallel6 certificates in parallel
  24. 24. ❖❖ 6 Data Centers on 3 continents6 Data Centers on 3 continents ❖❖ Every server trying to issue up toEvery server trying to issue up to 6 certificates in parallel6 certificates in parallel ❖❖ Let's Encrypt did not had limitsLet's Encrypt did not had limits for this...for this...
  25. 25. ❖❖ Needless to say... we had a callNeedless to say... we had a call from Let's Encrypt :)from Let's Encrypt :)
  26. 26. ❖❖ They had oneThey had one SIMPLESIMPLE request:request: Implement a global limit(across allImplement a global limit(across all of our Data Centers) to issue lessof our Data Centers) to issue less then 10 certificates at the same timethen 10 certificates at the same time
  27. 27. ❖❖ While we were again implementingWhile we were again implementing Consul lock for this...Consul lock for this... ❖❖ Let's EncryptLet's Encrypt implemented specificimplemented specific limits, because of us :)limits, because of us :) ❖❖ for a week there were intermittentfor a week there were intermittent issues with Let's Encrypt, but it wasissues with Let's Encrypt, but it was between Christmas and New year... sobetween Christmas and New year... so both we and Let's Encrypt didn't hadboth we and Let's Encrypt didn't had the people to address the issuethe people to address the issue
  28. 28. In March renewing became a problem :)In March renewing became a problem :) - we hit different limits- we hit different limits - number of issues of a cert with the same- number of issues of a cert with the same hostshosts - number of errors per-server- number of errors per-server - number of new certs- number of new certs
  29. 29. ❖❖ unintentionally one of my DevOps guysunintentionally one of my DevOps guys switched from single account to oneswitched from single account to one account per serveraccount per server - now, we had a new challenge, when- now, we had a new challenge, when moving an account, we also had to movemoving an account, we also had to move its certs, because otherwise it reachesits certs, because otherwise it reaches the limit of issuesthe limit of issues - the certs were still slow to issue- the certs were still slow to issue - we had to do some changes to certbot- we had to do some changes to certbot in order to be able to finalize somein order to be able to finalize some interrupted issue of certsinterrupted issue of certs
  30. 30. I wrote our own certbot, calledI wrote our own certbot, called acmebot, based on Net::ACME2.acmebot, based on Net::ACME2. Next 2 months we spent adding the sameNext 2 months we spent adding the same limits that LE havelimits that LE have
  31. 31. While doing that...While doing that... The next wave of renewals came...The next wave of renewals came... Again we had issues.Again we had issues.
  32. 32. We implemented per LE account limitWe implemented per LE account limit for every server that had its ownfor every server that had its own account.account. We implemented a sliding window limit for allWe implemented a sliding window limit for all servers that use the big account.servers that use the big account.
  33. 33. Marian MarinovMarian Marinov mm@siteground.commm@siteground.com

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