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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 Mon, 2008-08-04 at 17:51 -0700, Greg KH wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 04, 2008 at 08:32:54PM -0400, Eric Paris wrote:

> Oh, and after that, not using a binary interface, have we not learned
> from the ioctl mess? I sure thought we had...

I don't see a reason why we can't use strings and key=value pairs for
any metadata being sent back and forth. That seem more reasonable?



> > > Heh, so if you want to write a "virus" for Linux, just implement this
> > > flag. What's to keep a "rogue" program from telling the kernel that all
> > > programs on the system are to be excluded?
> >
> > Processes can only get this flag one of 2 ways.
> >
> > 1) register as a client to make access decisions
>
> How do you do that?

open the magic "vetting" file RW and you are a client who can answer
access decisions.

> > 2) echo 1 into the magic file to enable the flag for themselves
>
> Simple enough :)
>
> > > > 10. Filesystem exclusions
> > > > -------------------------
> > > > One pretty important optimization is not to scan things like /proc, /sys
> > > > or similar. Basically all filesystems where user can not store
> > > > arbitrary, potentially malicious, content could and should be excluded
> > > > from scanning.
> > >
> > > Why, does scanning these files take extra time? Just curious.
> >
> > Perf win, why bothering looking for malware in /proc when it can't
> > exist? It doesn't take longer it just takes time having to do
> >
> > userspace -> kernel -> userspace -> kernel -> userspace
> >
> > just to cat /proc/mounts, all of this could probably be alliviated if we
> > cached access on non block backed files but then we have to come up with
> > a way to exclude only nfs/cifs. I'd rather list the FSs that don't need
> > scanning every time than those that do....
>
> How long does this whole process take? Seriously is it worth the added
> kernel code for something that is not measurable?

Is it worth having 2 context switches for every open when none are
needed? I plan to get numbers on that.

>
> > > > 11. Path exclusions
> > > > -------------------
> > > > The need for exclusions can be demonstrated with an example of a MySQL
> > > > server. It's data files are frequently modified which means they would
> > > > need to be constantly rescanned which is very bad for performance. Also,
> > > > it is most often not even possible to reasonably scan them. Therefore
> > > > the best solution is not to scan its database store which can simply be
> > > > implemented by excluding the store subdirectory.
> > > >
> > > > It is a relatively simple implementation which allows run-time
> > > > configuration of a list of sub directories or files to exclude.
> > > > Exclusion paths are relative to each process root. So for example if we
> > > > want to exclude /var/lib/mysql/ and we have a mysql running in a chroot
> > > > where from the outside that directory actually lives
> > > > in /chroot/mysql/var/lib/mysql, /var/lib/mysql should actually be added
> > > > to the exclusion list.
> > > >
> > > > This is also not included in the initial patch set but will be coming
> > > > shortly after.
> > >
> > > Again, what's to keep all files to be marked as excluded?
> >
> > You have to be root and I'll probably add an LSM hook?
>
> Why an LSM hook? You aren't an LSM.

Maybe a new hook, maybe just a capability call, something to make root
not the

> > > > Closing remarks
> > > > ---------------
> > > > Although some may argue some of the filters are not necessary or may
> > > > better be implemented in userspace, we think it is better to have them
> > > > in kernel primarily for performance reasons.
> > >
> > > Why? What numbers do you have that say the kernel is faster in
> > > implementing this? This is the first mention of such a requirement, we
> > > need to see real data to back it up please.
> >
> > In kernel caching is clearly a huge perf win.
>
> Why? If the cache is also in userspace, it should be the same, right?

In kernel cache has 0 context switches for every open. Userspace
caching has 2. Every open has to block, switch to the context of the
userspace client/cache, get that decisions, and then switch back to the
original process.



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