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  1. We introduce a new end-to-end software environment that enables experimentation with using SciTokens for capability-based authorization in scientific computing. This set of interconnected Docker containers enables science projects to gain experience with the SciTokens model prior to adoption. It is a product of our SciAuth project, which supports the adoption of the SciTokens model through community engagement, support for coordinated adoption of community standards, assistance with software integration, security analysis and threat modeling, training, and workforce development.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 10, 2023
  2. Jupyter Notebooks are an enormously popular tool for creating and narrating computational research projects. They also have enormous potential for creating reproducible scientific research artifacts. Capturing the complete state of a notebook has additional benefits; for instance, the notebook execution may be split between local and remote resources, where the latter may have more powerful processing capabilities or store large or access-limited data. There are several challenges for making notebooks fully reproducible when examined in detail. The notebook code must be replicated entirely, and the underlying Python runtime environments must be identical. More subtle problems arise in replicating referenced data, external library dependencies, and runtime variable states. This paper presents solutions to these problems using Juptyer’s standard extension mechanisms to create an archivable system state for a running notebook. We show that the overhead for these additional mechanisms, which involve interacting with the underlying Linux kernel, does not introduce substantial execution time overheads, demonstrating the approach’s feasibility.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 8, 2023
  3. SciTokens SSH is a pluggable authentication module (PAM) that uses JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) for authentication to the Secure Shell (SSH) remote login service. SciTokens SSH supports multiple token issuers with local token verification, so scientific computing providers are not forced to rely on a single OAuth server for token issuance and verification. The decentralized design for SciTokens SSH was motivated by the distributed nature of scientific computing environments, where scientists use computational resources from multiple providers, with a variety of security policies, distributed across the globe.
  4. The management of security credentials (e.g., passwords, secret keys) for computational science workflows is a burden for scientists and information security officers. Problems with credentials (e.g., expiration, privilege mismatch) cause workflows to fail to fetch needed input data or store valuable scientific results, distracting scientists from their research by requiring them to diagnose the problems, re-run their computations, and wait longer for their results. SciTokens introduces a capabilities-based authorization infrastructure for distributed scientific computing, to help scientists manage their security credentials more reliably and securely. SciTokens uses IETF-standard OAuth JSON Web Tokens for capability-based secure access to remote scientific data. These access tokens convey the specific authorizations needed by the workflows, rather than general-purpose authentication impersonation credentials, to address the risks of scientific workflows running on distributed infrastructure including NSF resources (e.g., LIGO Data Grid, Open Science Grid, XSEDE) and public clouds (e.g., Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure). By improving the interoperability and security of scientific workflows, SciTokens 1) enables use of distributed computing for scientific domains that require greater data protection and 2) enables use of more widely distributed computing resources by reducing the risk of credential abuse on remote systems. In this extended abstract, we presentmore »the results over the past year of our open source implementation of the SciTokens model and its deployment in the Open Science Grid, including new OAuth support added in the HTCondor 8.8 release series.« less
  5. The management of security credentials (e.g., passwords, secret keys) for computational science workflows is a burden for scientists and information security officers. Problems with credentials (e.g., expiration, privilege mismatch) cause workflows to fail to fetch needed input data or store valuable scientific results, distracting scientists from their research by requiring them to diagnose the problems, re-run their computations, and wait longer for their results. In this paper, we introduce SciTokens, open source software to help scientists manage their security credentials more reliably and securely. We describe the SciTokens system architecture, design, and implementation addressing use cases from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) projects. We also present our integration with widely-used software that supports distributed scientific computing, including HTCondor, CVMFS, and XrootD. SciTokens uses IETF-standard OAuth tokens for capability-based secure access to remote scientific data. The access tokens convey the specific authorizations needed by the workflows, rather than general-purpose authentication impersonation credentials, to address the risks of scientific workflows running on distributed infrastructure including NSF resources (e.g., LIGO Data Grid, Open Science Grid, XSEDE) and public clouds (e.g., Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure). By improving the interoperability and securitymore »of scientific workflows, SciTokens 1) enables use of distributed computing for scientific domains that require greater data protection and 2) enables use of more widely distributed computing resources by reducing the risk of credential abuse on remote systems.« less
  6. This article describes experiences and lessons learned from the Trusted CI project, funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to serve the community as the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCoE). Trusted CI is an effort to address cybersecurity for the open science community through a single organization that provides leadership, training, consulting, and knowledge to that community. The article describes the experiences and lessons learned of Trusted CI regarding both cybersecurity for open science and managing the process of providing centralized services to a broad and diverse community.