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Date: Fri, 3 May 2019 20:36:06 +0100
From: Hector Marco-Gisbert <hecmargi@....es>
To: Kees Cook <keescook@...omium.org>
Cc: Ingo Molnar <mingo@...nel.org>, Andrew Morton
 <akpm@...ux-foundation.org>,
        Marc Gonzalez <marc.w.gonzalez@...e.fr>,
        Jason Gunthorpe <jgg@...lanox.com>, Will Deacon <will.deacon@....com>,
        X86 ML <x86@...nel.org>, Thomas Gleixner <tglx@...utronix.de>,
        Andy Lutomirski <luto@...capital.net>,
        Stephen Rothwell <sfr@...b.auug.org.au>,
        Catalin Marinas <catalin.marinas@....com>,
        Mark Rutland <mark.rutland@....com>, Arnd Bergmann <arnd@...db.de>,
        Linux ARM <linux-arm-kernel@...ts.infradead.org>,
        Kernel Hardening <kernel-hardening@...ts.openwall.com>,
        LKML <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>,
        Linus Torvalds <torvalds@...ux-foundation.org>,
        Borislav Petkov <bp@...en8.de>,
        Peter Zijlstra <a.p.zijlstra@...llo.nl>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2] binfmt_elf: Update READ_IMPLIES_EXEC logic for modern
 CPUs

Hello Kees, all,

Sorry for the delayed response, I haven't had time to see this until now.



On 25/04/2019 17:51, Kees Cook wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 10:42 PM Ingo Molnar <mingo@...nel.org> wrote:
>> Just to make clear, is the change from the old behavior, in essence:
>>
>>
>>                CPU: | lacks NX  | has NX, ia32     | has NX, x86_64   |
>>   ELF:              |           |                  |                  |
>>   ------------------------------|------------------|------------------|
>>   missing GNU_STACK | exec-all  | exec-all         | exec-none        |
>> - GNU_STACK == RWX  | exec-all  | exec-all         | exec-all         |
>> + GNU_STACK == RWX  | exec-all  | exec-stack       | exec-stack       |
>>   GNU_STACK == RW   | exec-all  | exec-none        | exec-none        |
>> [...]
>>    'exec-all'  : all user mappings are executable
> For extreme clarity, this should be:
>
> 'exec-all' : all PROT_READ user mappings are executable, except when
> backed by files on a noexec-filesystem.
>
>>    'exec-none' : only PROT_EXEC user mappings are executable
>>    'exec-stack': only the stack and PROT_EXEC user mappings are executable
> Thanks for helping clarify this. I spent last evening trying to figure
> out a better way to explain/illustrate this series; my prior patch
> combines too many things into a single change. One thing I noticed is
> the "lacks NX" column is wrong: for "lack NX", our current state is
> "don't care". If we _add_ RIE for the "lacks NX" case unconditionally,
> we may cause unexpected problems[1]. More on this below...
>
> But yes, your above diff for "has NX" is roughly correct. I'll walk
> through each piece I'm thinking about. Here is the current state:
>
>                CPU: | lacks NX*  | has NX, ia32     | has NX, x86_64 |
>   ELF:              |            |                  |                |
>   -------------------------------|------------------|----------------|
>   missing GNU_STACK | exec-all   | exec-all         | exec-all       |
>   GNU_STACK == RWX  | exec-all   | exec-all         | exec-all       |
>   GNU_STACK == RW   | exec-none  | exec-none        | exec-none      |
>
> *this column has no architecture effect: NX markings are ignored by
> hardware, but may have behavioral effects when "wants X" collides with
> "cannot be X" constraints in memory permission flags, as in [1].
>
>
> I want to make three changes, listed in increasing risk levels.
>
> First, I want to split "missing GNU_STACK" and "GNU_STACK == RWX",
> which is currently causing expected behavior for driver mmap
> regions[1], etc:
>
>                CPU: | lacks NX*  | has NX, ia32     | has NX, x86_64 |
>   ELF:              |            |                  |                |
>   -------------------------------|------------------|----------------|
>   missing GNU_STACK | exec-all   | exec-all         | exec-all       |
> - GNU_STACK == RWX  | exec-all   | exec-all         | exec-all       |
> + GNU_STACK == RWX  | exec-stack | exec-stack       | exec-stack     |
>   GNU_STACK == RW   | exec-none  | exec-none        | exec-none      |
>
> AFAICT, this has the least risk. I'm not aware of any situation where
> GNU_STACK==RWX is supposed to mean MORE than that. As Jann researched,
> even thread stacks will be treated correctly[2]. The risk would be
> discovering some use-case where a program was executing memory that it
> had not explicitly marked as executable. For ELFs marked with
> GNU_STACK, this seems unlikely (I hope).

I agree that "missing GNU_STACK" is not the same than GNU_STACK==RWX and 
this should be handled differently. There is a clear security benefit
if we don't assume that GNU_STACK==RWX means more than that.

My initial patch intended to prevent that on modern 64-bit programs where
explicitly marked executable stack, they are forced to have the 
READ_IMPLIES_EXEC state when no such thing is needed.

The read-implies-exec could be used via personality, so, such unlikely 
applications executing memory that it had not explicit marked as executable, 
could just use the READ_IMPLIES_EXEC personality, right? 

Adding a flag to prevent the core mm to call the driver with VM_EXEC can prevent [1].
So, I'm completely fine the "first" change.


>
>
> Second, I want to split the behavior of "missing GNU_STACK" between
> ia32 and x86_64. The reasonable(?) default for x86_64 memory is for it
> to be NX. For the very rare x86_64 systems that do not have NX, this
> shouldn't change anything because they still fall into the "don't
> care" column. It would look like this:
>
>                CPU: | lacks NX*  | has NX, ia32     | has NX, x86_64 |
>   ELF:              |            |                  |                |
>   -------------------------------|------------------|----------------|
> - missing GNU_STACK | exec-all   | exec-all         | exec-all       |
> + missing GNU_STACK | exec-all  | exec-all         | exec-none      |
>   GNU_STACK == RWX  | exec-stack | exec-stack       | exec-stack     |
>   GNU_STACK == RW   | exec-none  | exec-none        | exec-none      |
>
> This carries some risk that there are ancient x86_64 binaries that
> still behave like their even more ancient ia32 counterparts, and
> expect to be able to execute any memory. I would _hope_ this is rare,
> but I have no way to actually know if things like this exist in the
> real world.

This "second" change only affects "missing GNU_STACK" programs. So both, the
benefits and the risks are only for ancient applications. So, this is not a bid
deal, I would go for apply this "second" change. Maybe I'm missing something,
but why we can't use personalities for x86_64 ancient binaries that expect to
execute any memory? Again, we can add a flag to prevent the core mm to call the
driver with VM_EXEC.


>
>
> Third, I want to have the "lacks NX" column actually reflect reality.
> Right now on such a system, memory permissions will show "not
> executable" but there is actually no architectural checking for these
> permissions. I think the true nature of such a system should be
> reflected in the reported permissions. It would look like this:
>
>                CPU: | lacks NX*  | has NX, ia32     | has NX, x86_64 |
>   ELF:              |            |                  |                |
>   -------------------------------|------------------|----------------|
>   missing GNU_STACK | exec-all   | exec-all         | exec-none      |
> - GNU_STACK == RWX  | exec-stack | exec-stack       | exec-stack     |
> - GNU_STACK == RW   | exec-none  | exec-none        | exec-none      |
> + GNU_STACK == RWX  | exec-all   | exec-stack       | exec-stack     |
> + GNU_STACK == RW   | exec-all   | exec-none        | exec-none      |
>
> This carries the largest risk because it effectively enables
> READ_IMPLIES_EXEC on all processes for such systems. I worry this
> might trip as-yet-unseen problems like in [1], for only cosmetic
> improvements.

Also as you pointed out, if there are backed files on a nonexec-filesystems,
then should we remove the "x" to reflect reality? 

If we want to reflect reality, then there are other things we are missing.
For example on i386, a write-only memory region can be read. So, if we
have a "write-only" memory region, should we expect "rw-" in systems with NX
and "rwx" in systems that lacks NX? There are probably others situations I'm
not considering here.

I'm not sure about the unseen issues that doing this can introduce but if
we want to reflect reality, why we shouldn't do the same for others 
permissions? I am not sure that it worth to it just for cosmetic reasons.


>
> My intention was to split up the series and likely not even bother
> with the third change, since it feels like too high a risk to me. What
> do you think?
>
>> In particular, what is the policy for write-only and exec-only mappings,
>> what does read-implies-exec do for them?
> First it manifests here, which is used for stack and brk:
>
> #define VM_DATA_DEFAULT_FLAGS \
>         (((current->personality & READ_IMPLIES_EXEC) ? VM_EXEC : 0 ) | \
>          VM_READ | VM_WRITE | VM_MAYREAD | VM_MAYWRITE | VM_MAYEXEC)
>
> above is used in do_brk_flags(), and is picked up by
> VM_STACK_DEFAULT_FLAGS, visible in VM_STACK_FLAGS for
> setup_arg_pages()'s stack creation.
>
> READ_IMPLIES_EXEC itself is checked directly in mmap, with noexec
> checks that also clear VM_MAYEXEC:
>
>         if ((prot & PROT_READ) && (current->personality & READ_IMPLIES_EXEC))
>                 if (!(file && path_noexec(&file->f_path)))
>                         prot |= PROT_EXEC;
> ...
>                         if (path_noexec(&file->f_path)) {
>                                 if (vm_flags & VM_EXEC)
>                                         return -EPERM;
>                                 vm_flags &= ~VM_MAYEXEC;
>
> The above is where we discussed adding some kind of check for device
> driver memory mapping in [1] (or getting distros to mount /dev noexec,
> which seems to break other things...), but I'd rather just fix
> READ_IMPLIES_EXEC.
>
> Write-only would ignore READ_IMPLIES_EXEC, but mprotect() rechecks it
> if PROT_READ gets added later:
>
>         const bool rier = (current->personality & READ_IMPLIES_EXEC) &&
>                                 (prot & PROT_READ);
> ...
>                 /* Does the application expect PROT_READ to imply PROT_EXEC */
>                 if (rier && (vma->vm_flags & VM_MAYEXEC))
>                         prot |= PROT_EXEC;
>
>> Also, it would be nice to define it precisely what 'stack' means in this
>> context: it's only the ELF loader defined process stack - other stacks
>> such as any thread stacks, signal stacks or alt-stacks depend on the C
>> library - or does the kernel policy extend there too?
> Correct: this is only the ELF loader stack. Thread stacks are (and
> always have been) on their own. But as Jann found in [2], they should
> be unchanged by anything here.
>
>> I.e. it would be nice to clarify all this, because it's still rather
>> confusing and ambiguous right now.
> Agreed. I've been trying to pick it apart too, hopefully this helps.
>
> -Kees
>
> [1] https://lkml.kernel.org/r/20190418055759.GA3155@mellanox.com
> [2] https://lore.kernel.org/patchwork/patch/464875/
>

Anyway, thank you for handling this, I would like also to see this fixed.

Hector.



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