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SubjectRe: [PATCH 3/4] security: capabilities patch (version 0.4.4), part 3/4: introduce new capabilities
Casey Schaufler wrote:
> --- Joshua Brindle <> wrote:
>>> The first system I took through evaluation
>>> (that is, independent 3rd party analysis) stored
>>> security attributes in a file while the second
>>> and third systems attached the attributes
>>> directly (XFS). The 1st evaluation required
>>> 5 years, the 2nd 1 year. It is possible that
>>> I just got a lot smarter with age, but I
>>> ascribe a significant amount of the improvement
>>> to the direct association of the attributes
>>> to the file.
>> Thats great but entirely irrelevant in this context.
>> The patch and caps
>> in question are not attached to the file via some
>> externally observable
>> property (eg., xattr) but instead are embedded in
>> the source code so
>> that it can drop caps at certain points during the
>> execution or before
>> executing another app, thus unanalyzable.
> Oh that. Sure, we used capability bracketing
> in the code, too. That makes it easy to
> determine when a capability is active. What,
> you don't think that it's possible to analyze
> source code? Of course it is. Refer to the
> evaluation reports if you don't believe me.
When I see an analysis of every line of source code on an average Linux
machine then I might believe you (if you'll grant that no software can
ever be installed on it afterward without being analyzed) but until then
I'll stick with a centralized policy. I doubt many others will be
satisfied with that limitation.

Bracketing hardly makes it analyzable, how can you possibly know if the
bracketing happened? You *believe* it will and therefore you say that
the bracketed code is safe but in reality this is a discretionary
mechanism and you have zero assurance that there is any security
whatsoever, no thanks, I'll pass.
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