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SubjectRe: [PATCH ghak90 V6 02/10] audit: add container id
On 2019-07-15 17:04, Paul Moore wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 8, 2019 at 2:06 PM Richard Guy Briggs <> wrote:
> > On 2019-05-30 15:29, Paul Moore wrote:
> ...
> > > [REMINDER: It is an "*audit* container ID" and not a general
> > > "container ID" ;) Smiley aside, I'm not kidding about that part.]
> > >
> > > I'm not interested in supporting/merging something that isn't useful;
> > > if this doesn't work for your use case then we need to figure out what
> > > would work. It sounds like nested containers are much more common in
> > > the lxc world, can you elaborate a bit more on this?
> > >
> > > As far as the possible solutions you mention above, I'm not sure I
> > > like the per-userns audit container IDs, I'd much rather just emit the
> > > necessary tracking information via the audit record stream and let the
> > > log analysis tools figure it out. However, the bigger question is how
> > > to limit (re)setting the audit container ID when you are in a non-init
> > > userns. For reasons already mentioned, using capable() is a non
> > > starter for everything but the initial userns, and using ns_capable()
> > > is equally poor as it essentially allows any userns the ability to
> > > munge it's audit container ID (obviously not good). It appears we
> > > need a different method for controlling access to the audit container
> > > ID.
> >
> > We're not quite ready yet for multiple audit daemons and possibly not
> > yet for audit namespaces, but this is starting to look a lot like the
> > latter.
> A few quick comments on audit namespaces: the audit container ID is
> not envisioned as a new namespace (even in nested form) and neither do
> I consider running multiple audit daemons to be a new namespace.

I can picture either one.

> From my perspective we create namespaces to allow us to redefine a
> global resource for some subset of the system, e.g. providing a unique
> /tmp for some number of processes on the system. While it may be
> tempting to think of the audit container ID as something we could
> "namespace", especially when multiple audit daemons are concerned, in
> some ways this would be counter productive; the audit container ID is
> intended to be a global ID that can be used to associate audit event
> records with a "container" where the "container" is defined by an
> orchestrator outside the audit subsystem. The global nature of the
> audit container ID allows us to maintain a sane(ish) view of the
> system in the audit log, if we were to "namespace" the audit container
> ID such that the value was no longer guaranteed to be unique
> throughout the system, we would need to additionally track the audit
> namespace along with the audit container ID which starts to border on
> insanity IMHO.

Understood. And mostly agree. Any audit namespace would have to be a
hybrid anyways, since only the init one would have full access to audit
resources. All the others would be somewhat neutered. And in the case
of checking for previous usage of a contid, if it was not already in use
in the hypothetical audit namespace but was in use elsewhere in the
system and we blocked its usage in this namespace, it would leak that
information by blocking it.

I saw it as a way of permitting layering with the natural descendancy
structure showing that hierarchy. The potential flaw with my reasoning
is that a parent could exit and its children would get re-parented onto
its next ancestor, so the intermediate task with an intermediate contid
would break that contid documentation chain.

> > If we can't trust ns_capable() then why are we passing on
> > CAP_AUDIT_CONTROL? It is being passed down and not stripped purposely
> > by the orchestrator/engine. If ns_capable() isn't inherited how is it
> > gained otherwise? Can it be inserted by cotainer image? I think the
> > answer is "no". Either we trust ns_capable() or we have audit
> > namespaces (recommend based on user namespace) (or both).
> My thinking is that since ns_capable() checks the credentials with
> respect to the current user namespace we can't rely on it to control
> access since it would be possible for a privileged process running
> inside an unprivileged container to manipulate the audit container ID
> (containerized process has CAP_AUDIT_CONTROL, e.g. running as root in
> the container, while the container itself does not).

What makes an unprivileged container unprivileged? "root", or "CAP_*"?

If CAP_AUDIT_CONTROL is granted, does "root" matter? Does it matter
what user namespace it is in? I understand that root is *gained* in an
unprivileged user namespace, but capabilities are inherited or permitted
and that process either has it or it doesn't and an unprivileged user
namespace can't gain a capability that has been rescinded. Different
subsystems use the userid or capabilities or both to determine
privileges. In this case, is the userid relevant?

> > At this point I would say we are at an impasse unless we trust
> > ns_capable() or we implement audit namespaces.
> I'm not sure how we can trust ns_capable(), but if you can think of a
> way I would love to hear it. I'm also not sure how namespacing audit
> is helpful (see my above comments), but if you think it is please
> explain.

So if we are not namespacing, why do we not trust capabilities?

> > I don't think another mechanism to trust nested orchestrators/engines
> > will buy us anything.
> >
> > Am I missing something?
> Based on your questions/comments above it looks like your
> understanding of ns_capable() does not match mine; if I'm thinking
> about ns_capable() incorrectly, please educate me.
> --
> paul moore


Richard Guy Briggs <>
Sr. S/W Engineer, Kernel Security, Base Operating Systems
Remote, Ottawa, Red Hat Canada
IRC: rgb, SunRaycer
Voice: +1.647.777.2635, Internal: (81) 32635

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