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Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2018 11:36:30 -0500
From: Boris Lukashev <>
To: Igor Stoppa <>
Cc: Jerome Glisse <>, Jann Horn <>, 
	Kees Cook <>, Michal Hocko <>, 
	Laura Abbott <>, Christoph Hellwig <>, 
	Matthew Wilcox <>, Christoph Lameter <>, 
	linux-security-module <>, Linux-MM <>, 
	kernel list <>, 
	Kernel Hardening <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 4/6] Protectable Memory

On Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 7:28 AM, Igor Stoppa <> wrote:
> On 25/01/18 17:38, Jerome Glisse wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 10:14:28AM -0500, Boris Lukashev wrote:
>>> On Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 6:59 AM, Igor Stoppa <> wrote:
>> [...]
>>> DMA/physmap access coupled with a knowledge of which virtual mappings
>>> are in the physical space should be enough for an attacker to bypass
>>> the gating mechanism this work imposes. Not trivial, but not
>>> impossible. Since there's no way to prevent that sort of access in
>>> current hardware (especially something like a NIC or GPU working
>>> independently of the CPU altogether)
> [...]
>> I am not saying that this can not happen but that we are trying our best
>> to avoid it.
> How about an opt-in verification, similar to what proposed by Boris
> Lukashev?
> When reading back the data, one could access the pointer directly and
> bypass the verification, or could use a function that explicitly checks
> the integrity of the data.
> Starting from an unprotected kmalloc allocation, even just turning the
> data into R/O is an improvement, but if one can afford the overhead of
> performing the verification, why not?

I like the idea of making the verification call optional for consumers
allowing for fast/slow+hard paths depending on their needs.
Cant see any additional vectors for abuse (other than the original
ones effecting out-of-band modification) introduced by having
verify/normal callers, but i've not had enough coffee yet. Any access
races or things like that come to mind for anyone? Shouldn't happen
with a write-once allocation, but again, lacking coffee.

> It would still be better if the service was provided by the library,
> instead than implemented by individual users, I think.
> --
> igor


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