Follow @Openwall on Twitter for new release announcements and other news
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date: Fri, 5 May 2023 17:16:58 +0200
From: David Hildenbrand <>
To: Sam James <>
Cc: Michael McCracken <>,,,,
 Luis Chamberlain <>, Kees Cook <>,
 Iurii Zaikin <>, Andrew Morton
Subject: Re: [PATCH] sysctl: add config to make randomize_va_space RO

On 05.05.23 17:15, David Hildenbrand wrote:
> On 05.05.23 09:46, Sam James wrote:
>> David Hildenbrand <> writes:
>>> On 04.05.23 23:30, Michael McCracken wrote:
>>>> Add config RO_RANDMAP_SYSCTL to set the mode of the randomize_va_space
>>>> sysctl to 0444 to disallow all runtime changes. This will prevent
>>>> accidental changing of this value by a root service.
>>>> The config is disabled by default to avoid surprises.
>>> Can you elaborate why we care about "accidental changing of this value
>>> by a root service"?
>>> We cannot really stop root from doing a lot of stupid things (e.g.,
>>> erase the root fs), so why do we particularly care here?
>> (I'm really not defending the utility of this, fwiw).
>> In the past, I've seen fuzzing tools and other debuggers try to set
>> it, and it might be that an admin doesn't realise that. But they could
>> easily set other dangerous settings unsuitable for production, so...
> At least fuzzing tools randomly toggling it could actually find real
> problems. Debugging tools ... makes sense that they might be using it.
> What I understand is, that it's more of a problem that the system
> continues running and the disabled randomization isn't revealed to an
> admin easily.
> If we really care, not sure what's better: maybe we want to disallow
> disabling it only in a security lockdown kernel? Or at least warn the
> user when disabling it? (WARN_TAINT?)

Sorry, not WARN_TAINT. pr_warn() maybe. Tainting the kernel is probably 
a bit too much as well.


David / dhildenb

Powered by blists - more mailing lists

Confused about mailing lists and their use? Read about mailing lists on Wikipedia and check out these guidelines on proper formatting of your messages.