Version 62 (modified by thh, 11 years ago) (diff)




LSST has two apparently conflicting goals:

  • Openness - generous access to data by scientists and the public
  • Security - reliable infrastructure and long-term data integrity

As a exciting and prominent project, LSST can expect to attract many kinds of interest, ranging from scientific curiosity to active attack. As a large project with complex infrastructure, we must also be prepared for accidents and unforeseen dependencies. We must ensure that we:

  • Ensure the functioning of our essential data-collection pipeline
  • Protect the long-term integrity of our data
  • Ensure reliable access to data

Important Dates

  • May 15 - Annotated Outline (for All Hands Mtg)
  • July 10 2008 - Draft for inclusion in NSF PDR (Prelimary Design Review)
  • October 2008 - NSF PDR due

Types of Security

  1. Physical Security -- buildings, networks, cables, electric power, physical machines
  2. System-level Security -- operating systems, processes, file systems, local user accounts & root access
  3. Applications -- services, registries, trust networks, bandwidth management
  4. User Access -- personal workspaces, job management, user interfaces


See also a table of LSST security realms.

  • Mountaintop
    • Network access strictly through base facility
    • Important roles: Buffering, Network transfer to Base Facility
  • Base facility (at La Serena)
    • [Who can access?]
    • No public access (all through collocated Data Access Center)
    • Nightly processing (real-time)
    • Data transferred to Archive Center
  • Archive Center (at NCSA)
    • [Who can access?]
    • Data Archive
    • Primary data processing
  • Data access Centers
    • Operated by LSST
      1. Collocated with the Archive Center (NCSA)
      2. Collocated with Base Facility (La Serena)
      3. San Diego
      4. Education and Public Outreach (EPO)
    • Possibly others, independently funded

Shared Facilities

Where LSST shares a site, we can expect to collaborate with other organizations on security, especially physical security.

  • NCSA
    • The LSST Archive Center will be housed in NCSA's Petascale Computing Facility, which will also house the NSF supercomputing cluster Blue Waters, expected to come online in 2011.
    • NCSA's security policy document is linked below.

[Needed: list of other organizations whose facilities we will share]


What threats does LSST need to guard against?

[To be filled in & organized -- this is really just a placeholder]

  • Data deletion, both accidental & malicious
  • DOS, both accidental & malicious
  • Loss of connectivity (is this a security issue, an operations issue, or both?)
    • Between mountaintop & base station
    • Between base station & archive center

Are these threats too abstract? Should we focus on things like "cable cut" instead of "loss of connectivity"? Both the cause & the symptom are important.

Connections to other LSST Groups

How is security policy connected with other working groups within LSST?

[To Do: Elaborate & turn this into sentences.]

  • Infrastructure
    • physical security
    • hardware-based security
    • vendor compliance
  • Applications
    • authentication & authorization
      • users
      • services
    • data integrity
      • verification
      • encryption


How does security policy relate to:

  • Disaster preparedness? For example, cable cuts on the mountain?
  • Application performance? In particular, denial-of-service that exploits expensive computations?
  • Measuring and ensuring data integrity?
  • Data provenance (especially the relationship between authentication and data provenance)?

Related Documents

Institutions' Policies

NCSA Security Policies

NOAO Security Policies


Guides and Handbooks

Document Template Collections


This page is getting pretty big; maybe we could reorganize it into pages on:

  1. Overview
  2. Experience of other projects, as they relate to LSST
    • Spitzer
    • Sloan
  3. LSST Sites
    • Physical sites
    • Security realms
  4. User Roles
    • And use cases, once we get them
  5. Threats
    • And their defenses
  6. Related Documents
    • Policy templates
    • Handbooks
    • Other institutions' policies
  7. Connections & Interdependencies with other LSST Groups

We could use some diagrams. Basis for some may already be in Docushare; does LSST have a library of diagrams?

  • Relation & overlap between physical sites and security realms
  • Diagrams of functional blocks within LSST, and their security relationships
    • Image capture & real-time processing on mountaintop
    • Staging at base facility
    • Nightly processing
    • Data Release processing
    • Archive Center's relationships
    • Public access
  • Primary use cases, as they relate to functional blocks