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SubjectRe: mmap_min_addr and your local LSM (ok, just SELinux)
On Mon, 20 Jul 2009, Eric Paris wrote:

> Does anyone see a better way to let users continue to be users while
> protecting most people? Yes SELinux is stronger in some areas than
> without confining the ability to map the 0 page, but as has be rightly
> pointed out it's foolish an broken that SELinux can weaken any
> protections.

I haven't seen a better idea so far.

I strongly believe that we need to maintain the principle, in SELinux and
LSM generally, that the interface is restrictive, i.e. that it can only
further restrict access. It should be impossible, from a design point of
view at least, for any LSM module to authorize more privilege than
standard DAC. This has always been a specific design goal of LSM. (The
capability module is an exception, as it has a fixed security policy and
implements legacy DAC behavior; there's no way to "fix" this).

In this case, we're not dealing with a standard form of access control,
where access to a userland object is being mediated. We're trying to
mediate the ability of a subject to bypass a separate mechanism which aims
to protect the kernel itself from attack via a more fundamental system
flaw. The LSM module didn't create that vulnerability directly, but it
must not allow the vulnerability to be more easily exploited.

The security policy writer should have a guarantee that the worst mistake
they can make is to mess up their own security model; if they can mess up
the base DAC security with MAC policy, we break that guarantee. There's
also an issue of user confidence in the LSM modules, in that they should
not be any worse off security-wise if they enable an enhanced protection

This does not account for kernel bugs in the LSM modules themselves,
obviously, but the same can be said for any kernel code, albeit with less

- James
James Morris

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