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Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2016 10:53:00 -0800
From: Andy Lutomirski <>
To: Kees Cook <>
Cc: "Eric W. Biederman" <>, Andrew Morton <>, 
	Al Viro <>, Richard Weinberger <>, 
	Robert Święcki <>, 
	Dmitry Vyukov <>, David Howells <>, 
	Miklos Szeredi <>, Kostya Serebryany <>, 
	Alexander Potapenko <>, Eric Dumazet <>, 
	Sasha Levin <>, 
	"" <>, 
	"" <>, 
	"" <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/2] sysctl: allow CLONE_NEWUSER to be disabled

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 10:51 AM, Kees Cook <> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 2:22 PM, Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 7:02 PM, Eric W. Biederman
>> <> wrote:
>>> Kees Cook <> writes:
>>>> There continues to be unexpected side-effects and security exposures
>>>> via CLONE_NEWUSER. For many end-users running distro kernels with
>>>> CONFIG_USER_NS enabled, there is no way to disable this feature when
>>>> desired. As such, this creates a sysctl to restrict CLONE_NEWUSER so
>>>> admins not running containers or Chrome can avoid the risks of this
>>>> feature.
>>> I don't actually think there do continue to be unexpected side-effects
>>> and security exposures with CLONE_NEWUSER.  It takes a while for all of
>>> the fixes to trickle out to distros.  At most what I have seen recently
>>> are problems with other kernel interfaces being amplified with user
>>> namespaces.  AKA the current mess with devpts, and the unexpected
>>> issues with bind mounts in mount namespaces.
>>> So to keep this productive.  Please tell me about the threat model
>>> you envision, and how you envision knobs in the kernel being used to
>>> counter those threats.
>> I consider the ability to use CLONE_NEWUSER to acquire CAP_NET_ADMIN
>> over /any/ network namespace and to thus access the network
>> configuration API to be a huge risk.  For example, unprivileged users
>> can program iptables.  I'll eat my hat if there are no privilege
>> escalations in there.  (They can't request module loading, but still.)
> Should I consider this an Ack for the patch? :)

Only if you explain why you need the CAP_SYS_ADMIN check.  :)

IOW, I think you could change that one line of code and have a less
weird version of the patch that would work just fine.


Andy Lutomirski
AMA Capital Management, LLC

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