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SubjectRe: Linux Security *Module* Framework (Was: LSM conversion to static interface)

On Wed, October 24, 2007 22:02, David P. Quigley wrote:
> Apparmor wants to lock down some application, it gives the application
> access to a particular port, and the minimal set of privileges needed to
> execute the application. Since Apparmor is "easy to use" (note the
> quotes are to indicate they aren't my words not sarcasm) and SUSE comes
> with a targeted policy the user isn't concerned with it. Now multiadm
> comes along and an administrator wishes to grant extra rights to a user.
> This is fine with multiadm alone since it is the main security module,
> however we now have to compose this with AppArmor. So an administrator
> runs into an error running his application. Is this because his user
> isn't granted the proper escalated privileges? Is it because AppArmor
> needs an extra rule to run the application? It could also be that our
> third module has blocked the application because it determined that even
> though multiadm specified that the user should have the elevated
> privileges to run the application that user shouldn't be able to bind to
> that port.
> There might be a better example to illustrate the problem however, this
> simple example shows the interdependency of three seemingly simple
> modules. Imagine what happens when people really let loose and implement
> all sorts of crazy ideas and stack them on top of each other. Stacking
> works in things such as file systems because we have a clearly defined
> interface with fixed solid semantics. You could attempt to do that but
> once you have modules that step on each others toes you have to figure
> out a way to reconcile that. It seems to me that you're going to
> introduce usability problems that are hard to deal with.

I agree that it can cause problems, but it's up to the modules themselves
to determine how to combine permissions with their immediate secondary

Instead we now have a static LSM where combining features from one module
means duplicating it in another - then when two modules contain most of
the other's code, but perhaps vastly different configuration mechanisms,
someone will propose removing one of the two...

Simon Arlott
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