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Date: Tue, 9 May 2017 07:29:57 -0700
From: Thomas Garnier <>
To: Greg KH <>
Cc: Ingo Molnar <>, Kees Cook <>, 
	Daniel Micay <>, Martin Schwidefsky <>, 
	Heiko Carstens <>, Dave Hansen <>, 
	Arnd Bergmann <>, Thomas Gleixner <>, David Howells <>, 
	René Nyffenegger <>, 
	Andrew Morton <>, 
	"Paul E . McKenney" <>, "Eric W . Biederman" <>, 
	Oleg Nesterov <>, Pavel Tikhomirov <>, 
	Ingo Molnar <>, "H . Peter Anvin" <>, Andy Lutomirski <>, 
	Paolo Bonzini <>, Rik van Riel <>, 
	Josh Poimboeuf <>, Borislav Petkov <>, Brian Gerst <>, 
	"Kirill A . Shutemov" <>, 
	Christian Borntraeger <>, Russell King <>, 
	Will Deacon <>, Catalin Marinas <>, 
	Mark Rutland <>, James Morse <>, 
	linux-s390 <>, LKML <>, 
	Linux API <>, "the arch/x86 maintainers" <>, 
	"" <>, 
	Kernel Hardening <>, 
	Linus Torvalds <>, Peter Zijlstra <>, 
	Al Viro <>
Subject: Re: Re: [PATCH v9 1/4] syscalls: Verify address
 limit before returning to user-mode

On Tue, May 9, 2017 at 4:10 AM, Greg KH <> wrote:
> On Tue, May 09, 2017 at 08:56:19AM +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
>> * Kees Cook <> wrote:
>> > > There's the option of using GCC plugins now that the infrastructure was
>> > > upstreamed from grsecurity. It can be used as part of the regular build
>> > > process and as long as the analysis is pretty simple it shouldn't hurt compile
>> > > time much.
>> >
>> > Well, and that the situation may arise due to memory corruption, not from
>> > poorly-matched set_fs() calls, which static analysis won't help solve. We need
>> > to catch this bad kernel state because it is a very bad state to run in.
>> If memory corruption corrupted the task state into having addr_limit set to
>> KERNEL_DS then there's already a fair chance that it's game over: it could also
>> have set *uid to 0, or changed a sensitive PF_ flag, or a number of other
>> things...
>> Furthermore, think about it: there's literally an infinite amount of corrupted
>> task states that could be a security problem and that could be checked after every
>> system call. Do we want to check every one of them?
> Ok, I'm all for not checking lots of stuff all the time, just to protect
> from crappy drivers that.  Especially as we _can_ audit and run checks
> on the source code for them in the kernel tree.
> But, and here's the problem, outside of the desktop/enterprise world,
> there are a ton of out-of-tree code that is crap.  The number of
> security/bug fixes and kernel crashes for out-of-tree code in systems
> like Android phones is just so high it's laughable.
> When you have a device that is running 3.2 million lines of kernel code,
> yet the diffstat of the tree compared to mainline adds 3 million lines
> of code, there is bound to be a ton of issues/problems there.
> So this is an entirely different thing we need to try to protect
> ourselves from.  A long time ago I laughed when I saw that Microsoft had
> to do lots of "hardening" of their kernel to protect themselves from
> crappy drivers, as I knew we didn't have to do that because we had the
> source for them and could fix the root issues.  But that has changed and
> now we don't all have that option.  That code is out-of-tree because the
> vendor doesn't care, and doesn't want to take any time at all to do
> anything resembling a real code review[1].

That's a big part of why I thought would be useful. I am less worried
about edge cases upstream right now than forks with custom codes not
using set_fs correctly.

> So, how about options like the ones being proposed here, go behind a new
> config option:
> that device owners can enable if they do not trust their vendor-provided
> code (hint, I sure don't.)  That way the "normal" path that all of us
> are used to running will be fine, but if you want to take the speed hit
> to try to protect yourself, then you can do that as well.

Maybe another name but why not.

> Anyway, just an idea...
> thanks,
> greg k-h
> [1] I am working really hard with lots of vendors to try to fix their
>     broken development model, but that is going to take years to resolve
>     as their device pipelines are years long, and changing their
>     mindsets takes a long time...


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