[lkml]   [2007]   [May]   [28]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
SubjectRe: [AppArmor 01/41] Pass struct vfsmount to the inode_create LSM hook
On May 28, 2007, at 06:41:11, Toshiharu Harada wrote:
> 2007/5/27, Kyle Moffett <>:
>>>> If you can't properly manage your labels, then how do you expect
>>>> any security at all?
>>> Please read my message again. I didn't say, "This can never be
>>> achieved". I said, "This can not be easily achieved".
>> So you said "(data labels) can not be easily achieved". My
>> question for you is: How do you manage secure UNIX systems without
>> standard UNIX permission bits? Also: If you have problems with
>> data labels then what makes pathname based labels "easier"? If
>> there is something that could be done to improve SELinux and make
>> it more readily configurable then it should probably be done.
> Permission bits can be checked easily with "ls" command but
> assuring the correctness of labels are not that easy. I'll try to
> explain.
> The correctness of the permission bit for a given file can be
> judged solely by the result of "ls" command. The correctness of
> the label, on the other hand, can't be judged without understanding
> of whole policy including domain transitions. (see the attached
> figure) I can imagine that once one get the complete SELinux
> policy, then it is able to modify and maintain it.

That's why there are a number of efforts to make modular SELinux
policies. A good SELinux policy provides a few core system types and
labels which a policy developer needs to understand, as well as some
good macros to simplify the human-editable policy files. For
instance, in my customized policy a daemon run by an initscript which
reads a single config file in /etc needs this policy (Note that I use
"_d" as a suffix for process domains instead of the usual "_t"):

initrc_daemon(foo_exec_t, foo_d)
daemon_config(foo_d, foo_conf_t)

Add maybe 2 lines for network port access, another 2 for database
files in /var, plus maybe an "iptables" rule or two in your firewall

> I don't say making a complete SELinux policy is impossible, and
> actually you said you did it. But to be frank, I don't think you
> are the average level user at all. ;-)

Average users are not supposed to be writing security policy. To be
honest, even average-level system administrators should not be
writing security policy. It's OK for such sysadmins to tweak
existing policy to give access to additional web-docs or such, but
only expert sysadmin/developers or security professionals should be
writing security policy. It's just too damn easy to get completely

>>> I'm very interested in how you can know that you have the correct
>>> object labeling (this is my point). Could you tell?
>> I know that I have the correct object labeling because:
> Do you mind if I add this?
> 0) I understood the default policy and perfectly understand the
> every behavior of my system.
> this is where the difficulties exist.

You don't have to understand the entire default policy; that's the
point of modular policy. You only have to understand how to _use_
the interfaces of the system policy (which are documented) and how
the particular daemon policy is supposed to work. The people
developing the core system policy need to understand the inner
workings of said policy, but they don't need to understand how the
rest of the system works. The core functionality behind this
separation is macro interfaces and attributes. By grouping types
with attributes it is possible for arbitrary daemon types to
categorize themselves under access rules defined by the base policy,
and with interfaces the daemons don't really even need to know what
those attributes are called.

>>> I don't deny DAC at all. If we deny DAC, we can't live with
>>> Linux it's the base. MAC can be used to cover the shortages of
>>> DAC and Linux's simple user model, that's it.
>>> From security point of view, simplicity is always the virtue and
>>> the way to go. Inode combined label is guaranteed to be a single
>>> at any point time. This is the most noticeable advantage of
>>> label-based security.
>> I would argue that pathname-based security breaks the "simplicity
>> is the best virtue (of a security system)" paradigm, because it
>> attributes multiple potentially-conflicting labels to the same piece
> I have a question for you. With current implementation of SELinux,
> only one label can be assigned. But there are cases
> that one object can be used in different context, so I think it
> might help if SELinux would allow objects to have multiple labels.
> (I'm not talking about conflicts here) What do you think?

This is the whole advantage of SELinux type attributes: you can
define a type "var_foo_t" which has a specific list of attributes;
rules which accept type specifiers can also accept attribute
specifiers as well. If what you want is a label which may be
accessed in two different ways, then you declare attributes for each
access method and declare a type which has the attributes "filetype",
"access1", and "access2" (assuming access1 and access2 are the names
of the attributes you declared and used in your access rules).

>>> But writing policy with labels are somewhat indirect way (I mean,
>>> we need "ls -Z" or "ps -Z"). Indirect way can cause flaw so we
>>> need a lot of work that is what I wanted to tell.
>> I don't really use "ls -Z" or "ps -Z" when writing SELinux policy; I
>> do that only when I actually think I mislabeled files.
> I believe what you wrote, but it may not be as easy for average
> Linux users.

As I said before, average Linux users should not be writing their own
security policy. I have yet to meet an "average Linux user" who
could reliably quote for me what the file permissions on the "/tmp"
directory should be, or what the sticky bit was. A small percentage
of average Linux system administrators don't get that right
consistently, and if you don't understand the sticky bit then you
should *definitely* not be controlling program permissions on a per-
syscall basis.

Kyle Moffett

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at

 \ /
  Last update: 2007-05-29 05:57    [W:0.368 / U:0.436 seconds]
©2003-2017 Jasper Spaans. hosted at Digital OceanAdvertise on this site