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SubjectRe: One for the Security Guru's
On Wed, Oct 23, 2002 at 11:15:14PM +0100, you [James Stevenson] wrote:
>
> As to load a module you must be root and if you are root you
> can read / write disks. Thus you could recompile your own kernel
> install it try to force a crash or a reboot which is not hard as root
> and the person may not even notice that the kernel has grown by a few
> bytes after the crash.

Which is why some people configure kernels not to support installing modules
and only use read-only media (e.g. CD-R) for booting. Sure, there's still
the /dev/kmem hole, but this closes 2 classes of attacks - loading rootkit
module and booting with a hacked kernel in straight-forward way.

BTW, this might be a reason to make kexec syscall to be a config option (if
it isn't already.) The other reason is to avoid bloat for people that don't
need it, but perhaps this is a stronger argument. I realize you can propably
launch the kernel by hand (using /dev/kmem etc) if you really know what to
do. But the same applies to adding code/patching kernel without
CONFIG_MODULES support.


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