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SubjectRE: [PATCH] x86/entry/64: randomize kernel stack offset upon syscall
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From: Theodore Ts'o
> Sent: 17 April 2019 16:16
> On Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 09:28:35AM +0000, David Laight wrote:
> >
> > If you can guarantee back to back requests on the PRNG then it is probably
> > possible to recalculate its state from 'bits of state'/5 calls.
> > Depend on the PRNG this might be computationally expensive.
> > For some PRNG it will be absolutely trivial.
> > ...
> > Stirring in a little bit of entropy doesn't help much either.
> > The entropy bits are effectively initial state bits.
> > Add 4 in with each request and 128 outputs gives 640 linear
> > equations in the (128 + 4 * 128) unknowns - still solvable.
>
> This is basically a scenario where the attacker has already taken
> control of Ring 3 execution and the question is how hard is it for
> them to perform privilege escalation attack to ring 0, right?

Or extract information that should only be known by ring 0.
I fairly sure many of the side-channel attacks not only require
ring 3 access, but also the ability to request ring 0 repeatedly
perform a specific action on an otherwise idle system.

> I'm sure the security folks will think I'm defeatist, but my personal rule
> of thumb is if the attacker has ring 3 control, you've already lost
> --- I figure there are so many zero days that getting ring 0 control
> is a foregone conclusion. :-(
>
> So that basically means if we want to protect against this, we're
> going to do something which involves Real Crypto (tm). Whether that's
> RDRAND, or using Chacha20, etc., or something that has some attack
> resistance, such as "half MD5", etc., but emminently crackable by
> brute force, is essentially a overhead vs. security argument, and what
> it is we are willing to pay.

Some of these 'random' values have a short lifetime - and would need
to be cracked quickly to be of any use.

I suspect that combining the output three linear generators with
addition not xor would make it computationally much harder to
reverse.

David

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