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Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2019 16:24:35 +1000
From: Daniel Axtens <>
To: Andrew Donnellan <>, Christopher M Riedl <>,,
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH v2] powerpc/xmon: restrict when kernel is locked down

Andrew Donnellan <> writes:

> On 4/6/19 1:05 pm, Christopher M Riedl wrote:>>> +	if (!xmon_is_ro) {
>>>> +		xmon_is_ro = kernel_is_locked_down("Using xmon write-access",
>>>> +						   LOCKDOWN_INTEGRITY);
>>>> +		if (xmon_is_ro) {
>>>> +			printf("xmon: Read-only due to kernel lockdown\n");
>>>> +			clear_all_bpt();
>>> Remind me again why we need to clear breakpoints in integrity mode?
>>> Andrew
>> I interpreted "integrity" mode as meaning that any changes made by xmon should
>> be reversed. This also covers the case when a user creates some breakpoint(s)
>> in xmon, exits xmon, and then elevates the lockdown state. Upon hitting the
>> first breakpoint and (re-)entering xmon, xmon will clear all breakpoints.
>> Xmon can only take action in response to dynamic lockdown level changes when
>> xmon is invoked in some manner - if there is a better way I am all ears :)
> Integrity mode merely means we are aiming to prevent modifications to 
> kernel memory. IMHO leaving existing breakpoints in place is fine as 
> long as when we hit the breakpoint xmon is in read-only mode.
> (dja/mpe might have opinions on this)

Apologies for taking so long to get back to you.

I think ajd is right. 

I think about it like this. There are 2 transitions:

 - into integrity mode

   Here, we need to go into r/o, but do not need to clear breakpoints.
   You can still insert breakpoints in readonly mode, so clearing them
   just makes things more irritating rather than safer.

 - into confidentiality mode

   Here we need to purge breakpoints and disable xmon completely.

Kind regards,

> -- 
> Andrew Donnellan              OzLabs, ADL Canberra
>             IBM Australia Limited

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