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Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2019 11:31:32 -0400
From: Paul Moore <>
To: Kees Cook <>,
	Jérémie Galarneau <>,,,,, Mathieu Desnoyers <>,,, 
	Linus Torvalds <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] audit: Report suspicious O_CREAT usage

On Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 5:02 PM Kees Cook <> wrote:
> This renames the very specific audit_log_link_denied() to
> audit_log_path_denied() and adds the AUDIT_* type as an argument. This
> allows for the creation of the new AUDIT_ANOM_CREAT that can be used to
> report the fifo/regular file creation restrictions that were introduced
> in commit 30aba6656f61 ("namei: allow restricted O_CREAT of FIFOs and
> regular files"). Without this change, discovering that the restriction
> is enabled can be very challenging:
> Reported-by: Jérémie Galarneau <>
> Signed-off-by: Kees Cook <>
> ---
> This is not a complete fix because reporting was broken in commit
> 15564ff0a16e ("audit: make ANOM_LINK obey audit_enabled and
> audit_dummy_context")
> which specifically goes against the intention of these records: they
> should _always_ be reported. If auditing isn't enabled, they should be
> ratelimited.
> Instead of using audit, should this just go back to using
> pr_ratelimited()?

I'm going to ignore the rename and other aspects of this patch for the
moment so we can focus on the topic of if/when/how these records
should be emitted by the kernel.

Unfortunately, people tend to get very upset if audit emits *any*
records when they haven't explicitly enabled audit, the significance
of the record doesn't seem to matter, which is why you see patches
like 15564ff0a16e ("audit: make ANOM_LINK obey audit_enabled and
audit_dummy_context").  We could consider converting some records to
printk()s, rate-limited or not, but we need to balance this with the
various security certifications which audit was created to satisfy.
In some cases a printk() isn't sufficient.

Steve is probably the only one who really keeps track of the various
auditing requirements of the different security certifications; what
say you Steve on this issue with ANOM_CREAT records?

paul moore

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