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SubjectRe: Stack Smashing and no-exec
On Fri, 7 Aug 1998, Kragen wrote:

> On Fri, 7 Aug 1998, Jon M. Taylor wrote:
> > As long as Linux is a traditional monolithic Unix-like kernel, I
> > think this is a reasonable attitude to have. Linus is correct. The suid
> > root programs should be fixed. If that task is difficult, use bounds
> > checking or whatever you need to be able to fix the problems.
>
> I think some kind of small-interface solution like bounds-checking
> compilers should help considerably -- but, of course, it's not a
> panacea.

Right. The point is that the primary responsibility must lie with
the suid root code. The kernel can help catch these bugs, as can various
other tools like the compiler, but ultimately the code needs to be fixed.

> > Debugging
> > device drivers can be difficult too sometimes. All you can do is your
> > best, but I'd hope you would be willing to put forth a bit more effort to
> > ensure that something with root privs is clean.
> >
> > I think this situation is a very good argument in favor of ACLs.
> > Root is too blunt an instrument. It creates "implicit microkerneling",
> > where any special priv needs require the needy code to in effect become
> > part of the OS.
>
> I'm not clear on how ACLs help. (Do you mean filesystem ACLs?)
>
> The "capability" stuff in 2.1 should help quite a bit with this.

Argh. I mean capabilities, not ACLs. I *really* meant some sort
of finer-grained privilege system in general.

> Lots
> of things are setuid root so they can bind a reserved port, for
> example. I'll be a lot happier when I can run named as a normal user!
^^^^^^^^^^^

Would this be done, or would you have a user that has the
additional priv of being able to bind to that specific port? That is,
would capabilities be bound to a specific user like group membership is
now? Or would capabilities be bound to a group instead? Also, how would
these capabilities be defined? Would there be categories and/or any sort
of hierarchy to subcategorize the set of all possible capabilities, or
would it just be one long list of stuff, each capability standing alone?

Jon


---
'Cloning and the reprogramming of DNA is the first serious step in
becoming one with God.'
- Scientist G. Richard Seed

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