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SubjectRe: [RFC][PATCH] Randomize kernel base address on boot
On Fri, 27 May 2011, Ingo Molnar wrote:

I don't think these two new images are as important as you are tagging
them. I would put them down with the 'protect the system from root' type
of issues.

> - Boot time dynamic randomization allows randomization of 'mass
> install' systems, where the same image is used, to still be
> randomized: for example a million phones all with the same Flash
> ROM image and no 'install' performed at all on them.
>
> With static randomization these systems will all have the same
> kernel addresses.

there is already a need to be able to customize these systems on an
individual system basis (think SSL certs or ssh keys for example)

yes, this makes it a little more difficult than just 'drop this image bit
for bit on the system', but it's not that hard to setup a 'the first time
you boot do this stuff then reboot' step, and that step can do the
'install time' stuff.

> - Boot time dynamic randomization allows read-only systems to still
> be randomized: for example internet cafes that use some popular
> pre-packaged kiosk-mode live-DVD. They probably wont bother
> randomizing and relinking the ISOs per machine and burning per
> machine DVDs ...

this matters a little bit more because a script to create a custom DVD
image on the fly is more difficult.

however, I think this is a significantly less important target,
specifically because these are read-only system images.

but if someone really cares about this, they just need to create a stack
of slightly different DVDs. if this can be batched up and automated it's
not that big a deal. the DVDs don't really need to be per-machine, just a
variety of them.

David Lang


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