Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2020 20:53:42 +0200 From: Mickaël Salaün <mic@...ikod.net> To: Mark Rutland <mark.rutland@....com>, "Madhavan T. Venkataraman" <madvenka@...ux.microsoft.com> Cc: kernel-hardening@...ts.openwall.com, linux-api@...r.kernel.org, linux-arm-kernel@...ts.infradead.org, linux-fsdevel@...r.kernel.org, linux-integrity@...r.kernel.org, linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org, linux-security-module@...r.kernel.org, oleg@...hat.com, x86@...nel.org Subject: Re: [PATCH v1 0/4] [RFC] Implement Trampoline File Descriptor On 12/08/2020 12:06, Mark Rutland wrote: > On Thu, Aug 06, 2020 at 12:26:02PM -0500, Madhavan T. Venkataraman wrote: >> Thanks for the lively discussion. I have tried to answer some of the >> comments below. >> >> On 8/4/20 9:30 AM, Mark Rutland wrote: >>> >>>> So, the context is - if security settings in a system disallow a page to have >>>> both write and execute permissions, how do you allow the execution of >>>> genuine trampolines that are runtime generated and placed in a data >>>> page or a stack page? >>> There are options today, e.g. >>> >>> a) If the restriction is only per-alias, you can have distinct aliases >>> where one is writable and another is executable, and you can make it >>> hard to find the relationship between the two. >>> >>> b) If the restriction is only temporal, you can write instructions into >>> an RW- buffer, transition the buffer to R--, verify the buffer >>> contents, then transition it to --X. >>> >>> c) You can have two processes A and B where A generates instrucitons into >>> a buffer that (only) B can execute (where B may be restricted from >>> making syscalls like write, mprotect, etc). >> >> The general principle of the mitigation is W^X. I would argue that >> the above options are violations of the W^X principle. If they are >> allowed today, they must be fixed. And they will be. So, we cannot >> rely on them. > > Hold on. > > Contemporary W^X means that a given virtual alias cannot be writeable > and executeable simultaneously, permitting (a) and (b). If you read the > references on the Wikipedia page for W^X you'll see the OpenBSD 3.3 > release notes and related presentation make this clear, and further they > expect (b) to occur with JITS flipping W/X with mprotect(). W^X (with "permanent" mprotect restrictions ) goes back to 2000 with PaX  (which predates partial OpenBSD implementation from 2003).  https://pax.grsecurity.net/docs/mprotect.txt  https://undeadly.org/cgi?action=article;sid=20030417082752 > > Please don't conflate your assumed stronger semantics with the general > principle. It not matching you expectations does not necessarily mean > that it is wrong. > > If you want a stronger W^X semantics, please refer to this specifically > with a distinct name. > >> a) This requires a remap operation. Two mappings point to the same >> physical page. One mapping has W and the other one has X. This >> is a violation of W^X. >> >> b) This is again a violation. The kernel should refuse to give execute >> permission to a page that was writeable in the past and refuse to >> give write permission to a page that was executable in the past. >> >> c) This is just a variation of (a). > > As above, this is not true. > > If you have a rationale for why this is desirable or necessary, please > justify that before using this as justification for additional features. > >> In general, the problem with user-level methods to map and execute >> dynamic code is that the kernel cannot tell if a genuine application is >> using them or an attacker is using them or piggy-backing on them. > > Yes, and as I pointed out the same is true for trampfd unless you can > somehow authenticate the calls are legitimate (in both callsite and the > set of arguments), and I don't see any reasonable way of doing that. > > If you relax your threat model to an attacker not being able to make > arbitrary syscalls, then your suggestion that userspace can perorm > chceks between syscalls may be sufficient, but as I pointed out that's > equally true for a sealed memfd or similar. > >> Off the top of my head, I have tried to identify some examples >> where we can have more trust on dynamic code and have the kernel >> permit its execution. >> >> 1. If the kernel can do the job, then that is one safe way. Here, the kernel >> is the code. There is no code generation involved. This is what I >> have presented in the patch series as the first cut. > > This is sleight-of-hand; it doesn't matter where the logic is performed > if the power is identical. Practically speaking this is equivalent to > some dynamic code generation. > > I think that it's misleading to say that because the kernel emulates > something it is safe when the provenance of the syscall arguments cannot > be verified. > > [...] > >> Anyway, these are just examples. The principle is - if we can identify >> dynamic code that has a certain measure of trust, can the kernel >> permit their execution? > > My point generally is that the kernel cannot identify this, and if > usrspace code is trusted to dynamically generate trampfd arguments it > can equally be trusted to dyncamilly generate code. > > [...] > >> As I have mentioned above, I intend to have the kernel generate code >> only if the code generation is simple enough. For more complicated cases, >> I plan to use a user-level code generator that is for exclusive kernel use. >> I have yet to work out the details on how this would work. Need time. > > This reads to me like trampfd is only dealing with a few special cases > and we know that we need a more general solution. > > I hope I am mistaken, but I get the strong impression that you're trying > to justify your existing solution rather than trying to understand the > problem space. > > To be clear, my strong opinion is that we should not be trying to do > this sort of emulation or code generation within the kernel. I do think > it's worthwhile to look at mechanisms to make it harder to subvert > dynamic userspace code generation, but I think the code generation > itself needs to live in userspace (e.g. for ABI reasons I previously > mentioned). > > Mark. >
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