Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2017 17:31:36 -0700 From: Andy Lutomirski <luto@...nel.org> To: PaX Team <pageexec@...email.hu> Cc: Daniel Micay <danielmicay@...il.com>, Andy Lutomirski <luto@...nel.org>, Mathias Krause <minipli@...glemail.com>, Thomas Gleixner <tglx@...utronix.de>, Kees Cook <keescook@...omium.org>, "kernel-hardening@...ts.openwall.com" <kernel-hardening@...ts.openwall.com>, Mark Rutland <mark.rutland@....com>, Hoeun Ryu <hoeun.ryu@...il.com>, Emese Revfy <re.emese@...il.com>, Russell King <linux@...linux.org.uk>, X86 ML <x86@...nel.org>, "linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org" <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>, "linux-arm-kernel@...ts.infradead.org" <linux-arm-kernel@...ts.infradead.org>, Peter Zijlstra <peterz@...radead.org> Subject: Re: Re: [RFC v2][PATCH 04/11] x86: Implement __arch_rare_write_begin/unmap() On Sun, Apr 9, 2017 at 1:24 PM, PaX Team <pageexec@...email.hu> wrote: > >> In the context of virtually mapped stacks / KSTACKOVERFLOW, this >> naturally leads to different solutions. The upstream kernel had a >> bunch of buggy drivers that played badly with virtually mapped stacks. >> grsecurity sensibly went for the approach where the buggy drivers kept >> working. The upstream kernel went for the approach of fixing the >> drivers rather than keeping a compatibility workaround. Different >> constraints, different solutions. > > except that's not what happened at all. spender's first version did just > a vmalloc for the kstack like the totally NIH'd version upstream does > now. while we always anticipated buggy dma users and thus had code that > would detect them so that we could fix them, we quickly figured that the > upstream kernel wasn't quite up to snuff as we had assumed and faced with > the amount of buggy code, we went for the current vmap approach which > kept users' systems working instead of breaking them. > > you're trying to imply that upstream fixed the drivers but as the facts > show, that's not true. you simply unleashed your code on the world and > hoped(?) that enough suckers would try it out during the -rc window. as > we all know several releases and almost a year later, that was a losing > bet as you still keep fixing those drivers (and something tells me that > we haven't seen the end of it). this is simply irresponsible engineering > for no technical reason. I consider breaking buggy drivers (in a way that they either generally work okay or that they break with a nice OOPS depending on config) to be better than having a special case in what's supposed to be a fast path to keep them working. I did consider forcing the relevant debug options on for a while just to help shake these bugs out the woodwork faster. > >> In the case of rare writes or pax_open_kernel  or whatever we want >> to call it, CR3 would work without arch-specific code, and CR0 would >> not. That's an argument for CR3 that would need to be countered by >> something. (Sure, avoiding leaks either way might need arch changes. >> OTOH, a *randomized* CR3-based approach might not have as much of a >> leak issue to begin with.) > > i have yet to see anyone explain what they mean by 'leak' here but if it > is what i think it is then the arch specific entry/exit changes are not > optional but mandatory. see below for randomization. By "leak" I mean that a bug or exploit causes unintended code to run with CR0.WP or a special CR3 or a special PTE or whatever loaded. PaX hooks the entry code to avoid leaks. >> At boot, choose a random address A. > > what is the threat that a random address defends against? Makes it harder to exploit a case where the CR3 setting leaks. > >> Create an mm_struct that has a >> single VMA starting at A that represents the kernel's rarely-written >> section. Compute O = (A - VA of rarely-written section). To do a >> rare write, use_mm() the mm, write to (VA + O), then unuse_mm(). > > the problem is that the amount of __read_only data extends beyond vmlinux, > i.e., this approach won't scale. another problem is that it can't be used > inside use_mm and switch_mm themselves (no read-only task structs or percpu > pgd for you ;) and probably several other contexts. Can you clarify these uses that extend beyond vmlinux? I haven't looked at the grsecurity patch extensively. Are you talking about the BPF JIT stuff? If so, I think that should possibly be handled a bit differently, since I think the normal write-to-rare-write-vmlinux-sections primitive should preferably *not* be usable to write to executable pages. Using a real mm_struct for this could help. > > last but not least, use_mm says this about itself: > > (Note: this routine is intended to be called only > from a kernel thread context) > > so using it will need some engineering (or the comment be fixed). Indeed. >> It has the added benefit that writes to non-rare-write data using the >> rare-write primitive will fail. > > what is the threat model you're assuming for this feature? based on what i > have for PaX (arbitrary read/write access exploited for data-only attacks), > the above makes no sense to me... > If I use the primitive to try to write a value to the wrong section (write to kernel text, for example), IMO it would be nice to OOPS instead of succeeding. Please keep in mind that, unlike PaX, uses of a pax_open_kernel()-like function will may be carefully audited by a friendly security expert such as yourself. It would be nice to harden the primitive to a reasonable extent against minor misuses such as putting it in a context where the compiler will emit mov-a-reg-with-WP-set-to-CR0; ret.
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