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Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2018 09:54:29 -0700
From: Kees Cook <keescook@...omium.org>
To: Salvatore Mesoraca <s.mesoraca16@...il.com>
Cc: Kernel Hardening <kernel-hardening@...ts.openwall.com>, Laura Abbott <labbott@...hat.com>, 
	LKML <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>, 
	Masahiro Yamada <yamada.masahiro@...ionext.com>, 
	"open list:DOCUMENTATION" <linux-doc@...r.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: [RFC] kconfig: add hardened defconfig helpers

On Mon, Jul 30, 2018 at 9:11 AM, Salvatore Mesoraca
<s.mesoraca16@...il.com> wrote:
> I'm sorry for the late response, I've been unexpectedly busy in the last week.
>
> 2018-07-20 7:15 GMT+02:00 Kees Cook <keescook@...omium.org>:
>> +lkml, Masahiro, and linux-doc, just for wider review/thoughts.
>>
>> On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 10:38 AM, Salvatore Mesoraca
>> <s.mesoraca16@...il.com> wrote:
>> [...]
>>> +CONFIG_CC_STACKPROTECTOR_STRONG=y
>>> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> +
>>> +**Negative side effects level:** Medium
>>> +**- Protection type:** Self-protection
>>> +
>>> +Functions will have the stack-protector canary logic added in any
>>> +of the following conditions:
>>> +
>>> +- local variable's address used as part of the right hand side of an
>>> +assignment or function argument
>>> +- local variable is an array (or union containing an array),
>>> +regardless of array type or length
>>> +- uses register local variables
>>> +
>>> +This feature requires gcc version 4.9 or above, or a distribution
>>> +gcc with the feature backported ("-fstack-protector-strong").
>>> +
>>> +On an x86 "defconfig" build, this feature adds canary checks to
>>> +about 20% of all kernel functions, which increases the kernel code
>>> +size by about 2%.
>>
>> bikeshed: I think both stack protector items should be "Low", but
>> that's just me.
>
> I tried to be cautious when selecting the levels, but if nobody is
> against it, I can change the level.

My thought about the "Low" stuff was: if a distro has it enabled by
default, it must have been decided it was a sane default. So for
things that distros have enabled, set it to "Low" here. (Which is why
I cringed with KPTI: distros have it, but wow does it hurt...)

>>> [...]
>>> +CONFIG_DEVMEM=n
>>> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> +
>>> +**Negative side effects level:** Extreme
>>
>> Why is this extreme?
>
> I tried to be very cautious and I had the impression that this option
> could break many programs,
> isn't Xorg one of these?

These days, (almost?) all graphics drivers run without needing
userspace access to these things (and I think they never needed _RAM_
access, just IO space). Setting this to Medium or High seems better to
me. (The STRICT_DEVMEM, though, should be Low, since that's been a
distro setting forever.)

>> [...]
>>> +CONFIG_GCC_PLUGIN_LATENT_ENTROPY=y
>>> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> +
>>> +**Negative side effects level:** High
>>> +**- Protection type:** Self-protection
>>> +
>>> +With this pluging, the kernel will instrument some kernel code to
>>> +extract some entropy from both original and artificially created
>>> +program state. This will help especially embedded systems where
>>> +there is little 'natural' source of entropy normally.  The cost
>>> +is some slowdown of the boot process (about 0.5%) and fork and
>>
>> This doesn't feel like "high" to me.
>
> Medium maybe?

Sounds good.

>> [...]
>>> +CONFIG_PAGE_POISONING=y
>>> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> +
>>> +**Negative side effects level:** High
>>> +**- Protection type:** Self-protection
>>> +
>>> +Fill the pages with poison patterns after free_pages() and verify
>>> +the patterns before alloc_pages. The filling of the memory helps
>>> +reduce the risk of information leaks from freed data. This does
>>> +have a potential performance impact.
>>> +Needs "page_poison=1" command line.
>>> +
>>> +
>>> +CONFIG_PAGE_POISONING_NO_SANITY=y
>>> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> +
>>> +**Negative side effects level:** High
>>> +**- Protection type:** Self-protection
>>> +
>>> +Skip the sanity checking on alloc, only fill the pages with
>>> +poison on free. This reduces some of the overhead of the
>>> +poisoning feature.

So, I spent some time looking at these again for unrelated reasons and
rediscovered that enable CONFIG_PAGE_POISONING has virtual zero
overhead since the actual poisoning doesn't happen unless you turn it
on with a command line argument. So I would classify both of these as
"Low".

>>> +CONFIG_PAGE_POISONING_NO_SANITY=n
>>> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> +
>>> +**Negative side effects level:** Extreme
>>> +**- Protection type:** Self-protection
>>> +
>>> +Skip the sanity checking on alloc, only fill the pages with
>>> +poison on free. This reduces some of the overhead of the
>>> +poisoning feature.

This one, though, yes, Extreme or High. It makes things much slower.

>>> +CONFIG_PAGE_POISONING_ZERO=y
>>> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> +
>>> +**Negative side effects level:** High
>>> +**- Protection type:** Self-protection
>>> +
>>> +Instead of using the existing poison value, fill the pages with
>>> +zeros. This makes it harder to detect when errors are occurring
>>> +due to sanitization but the zeroing at free means that it is
>>> +no longer necessary to write zeros when GFP_ZERO is used on
>>> +allocation.

This one is interesting: enabling it with poisoning means you gain
back some of the performance hit (since now GFP_ZERO allocations don't
need to do any work: the space was already freed), but you lose a bit
of coverage since a write-after-free will not get zeroed at allocation
time. So I think I would set this as:

CONFIG_PAGE_POISONING_ZERO=y
at Low

CONFIG_PAGE_POISONING_ZERO=n
at High (or Medium?)

>> [...]
>>> +CONFIG_STATIC_USERMODEHELPER=y
>>> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>> +
>>> +**Negative side effects level:** Extreme
>>
>> I mean, this SHOULD be Low but no distro has actually implemented a
>> helper to do this yet.
>
> Infact I set it as extreme because I expect very few people to make an
> use of it.
> Maybe I could just drop it.

Until it's actually usable, yeah, I'd say drop it.

> [...]
> Thank you very very much for taking the time to look at this very long patch!

You're welcome! Thanks for _writing_ it. :)

-Kees

-- 
Kees Cook
Pixel Security

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