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SubjectRe: [malware-list] [RFC 0/5] [TALPA] Intro to a linux interface for on access scanning
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On Tue, 2008-08-05 at 10:03 -0700, Greg KH wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 05, 2008 at 12:23:28PM +0100, Alan Cox wrote:
> > > > It may be possible to do in glibc, LD_PRELOAD doesn't exactly work for
> > > > suid binaries
> > >
> > > Are suid binaries something that you feel is necessary to scan from?
> > >
> > > I don't see it on the list above :)
> >
> > Doesn't work very well really does it - ld.so loads files too and can be
> > attacked.
>
> But that's an "attack" vector, which virus scanners are not addressing.
> They are going for the "is this file corrupted" type issue. The
> "normal" LSM interface is for malware itself, taking control of a
> system.

So you are arguing against the defense in depth theory? LSM should
solve it all so why bother?

I don't think that anyone is claiming that they don't address that
vector. They may not be perfect but they are infinitely better than the
zero protection we offer today. Clearly in the enterprise world the
most useful purpose of these scanners is looking at inflight data
crossing valid safe non-hacked linux processes, but the implementation I
have given is such that we can start doing some validation on our own
executables. Remember the requirement wasn't just to scan data, it was
to scan everything that gets opened.

As an example of the usefulness of this approach as opposed to the
LD_PRELOAD/glibc approach is that I could be used to minimize the impact
of things like the recently much touted discussion about malicious
repository mirrors. Although clearly there were some flaws in the
common conception of the problem, the ability to trick users into
downloading and installing trojaned libraries is not something we can
presently protect against with any mechanism.

Lets assume that the black magic in userspace was able to spot a
trojaned library running programs which would still be linked to the old
files on disk would continue to work but you would very quickly find out
there was trouble when everything that tried to open its shared library
was getting EPERM. Yes, yes, even I can think of ways around it (bad
repo sends bad kernel first and waits until the machine is running the
bad kernel to disable scanning) but by that time they already won. And
its possible that the userspace scanning could/would spot the trojaned
kernel and report on it during install time.


I'm going to run perf test this afternoon but I'm going to have to look
for a test that is a good mix of reads,writes, and opens. I strongly
suspect that there will be a noticable perf lose in any other method
that doesn't include in kernel caching. (how can there not be with an
extra context switch for every open?)

-Eric



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