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SubjectRe: [PATCH] cgroups: implement device whitelist lsm (v3)
Quoting Casey Schaufler (casey@schaufler-ca.com):
>
> --- Stephen Smalley <sds@epoch.ncsc.mil> wrote:
>
> >
> > ...
> > > I completely disagree. We have two separate frameworks in the kernel,
> > > one to enforce generic additional security stuff, and one to track
> > > tasks. When I need a feature which tracks tasks to do some security
> > > tasks, it seems obvious that I would use both, just like to enforce a
> > > certain type of MAC I end up using both netfilter and LSM through
> > > selinux.
> >
> > Depends on whether you think LSM hooks are like netfilter hooks (i.e.
> > fine for each module to just implement a few here and there, then
> > combine resulting modules), or whether they are about implementing
> > complete security models (ala SELinux or Smack). As they currently
> > exist, they aren't very well suited to the former - they impose a cost
> > on all hooked operations in order to hook any at all, as has been a
> > concern for your device controller.
>
> I don't intend that Smack be thought of as a complete security model.
> Smack implements Mandatory Access Control, but leaves the privilege
> mechanism (root and/or capabilities) to the whims of others. Similarly
> Smack does not do DAC (unlike SELinux with MCS) although "owned rules"
> has been proposed as an additional feature. I certainly wouldn't
> want every new facility that comes in to require multiple versions
> that depend on the other LSMs involved. It's true that today's LSM is
> optimized for the only LSM that existed a year ago, and that was a
> monolythic security model.
>
> > > > > The fact that all existing LSMs need to invoke exactly the same code is
> > an
> > > > > indicator that it doesn't belong in LSM.
> > >
> > > No, that's like saying capabilities don't belong in LSM because all LSMS
> > > need to invoke it the same way. What it is an indicator of is that
> > > there are (not-quite-)orthogonal pieces of security which users might
> > > want to use together.
> >
> > Likely not a popular view, but capabilities don't belong in LSM.
>
> I share this view, which add credibility to the claim that it's
> not popular. (smiley)
>
> > Look
> > at them: the capability state is still directly embedded in the
> > relevant kernel data structures, various bits of capability specific
> > logic and interfaces remain in the core kernel,
>
> It does seem as if a separate Linux Privilege Module framework
> might be a better scheme. It would be very easy to pull out, and
> simple to create the obvious LPMs:
>
> - Traditional root
> hooks look like "return (euid == 0) ? 0 : -EACCES;"
> - No access check at all
> hooks look like "return 0;"
> - Root or capabilities
> hooks look like "return (euid == 0 || capable(xxx)) ? 0 : -EACCES;"
> - Pure capabilities
> hooks look like "return capable(xxx) ? 0 : -EACCES;"
>
> > they don't present a
> > complete security model (just an auxiliary to some other model like DAC
> > or Smack for privilege purposes), they use only a small subset of the
> > hooks, they force LSM to violate its usual restrictive-only paradigm to
> > support capable(), CONFIG_SECURITY=n still has to invoke the capability
> > functions, and all of the other LSMs do need to call it the same way to
> > keep Linux working as expected for applications and users.
>
> Plus, if SELinux wants to abandon capabilities they can add thier own
> scheme or insist the user use the noop LPM and do whatever they like
> in the LSM. Smack has no intention of mucking with the privilege
> mechanism, and will happily go along with whatever the rest of the
> system wants to use, although the noop LSM seems a bit pointless in
> that case.
>
> > The original promise was that LSM would allow kernels to be built that
> > shed capabilities altogether,
>
> I don't remember that, but it's been a long time so it could be true.
>
> > but in practice no one seems to do that as
> > both users and applications expect them to exist in Linux. In fact, the
> > possibility of not having capabilities present has caused problems that
> > have led to the dummy module being turned more and more into a clone of
> > the capabilities module (actually managing and testing the capability
> > bits rather than just uid == 0 as originally).
>
> This is why Smack is sticking to MAC rather than trying to be a
> wholistic security policy mechanism. To quote the prophet, "God
> created the world in 7 days, but then, He didn't have an install
> base".
>
> > So I wouldn't point to capabilities as a counter example to James' point
> > - they are actually a supporting example.
>
> In particular, capabilities are not an access control mechanism,
> they are a privilege mechanism. A lot of discussion about LSM has
> centered around the appropriate charactoristics of an LSM, and
> these discussions always assume that the LSM in question is
> exactly an access control mechanism. If we split the LSM into
> a LACM for access control and an LPM for privilege management
> maybe we can eliminate the most contentious issues.
>
> Does anyone know why that would be stoopid before I whack out
> patches?

No I'd like to see those patches. It would ideally allow LSM to become
*purely* restrictive and LPM to be purely empowering, presumably making
the resulting hook sets easier to review and maintain. The LPM wouldn't
(I assume) gain any *new* hook points so we wouldn't be adding any new
places for hooks to be overriden by a rootkit.

-serge


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