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Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2011 01:53:55 +0400
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: Linux kernel proactive security hardening

Hi all,

We have started with the project described below under GSoC 2011, and
I've just setup a new mailing list for it, as well as for Linux kernel
hardening topics in general.  Here's my "welcome" message explaining
this in more detail and referencing work that has already started:

Folks interested in getting involved (or just watching) are welcome to
join the kernel-hardening list (some already did).  Subscribe here:

(choose "kernel-hardening" from the drop-down at the bottom of this page).

Now the context to this (which was too long to top-quote):

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 03:35:09AM +0300, Solar Designer wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 07, 2010 at 02:16:32PM -0800, Kees Cook wrote:
> > A push has started to try to get as much as possible upstream into the
> > Linux kernel from the various hardening patches that exist in PaX,
> > grsecurity, OpenWall, etc. I've got some details here:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > And there's a sign-up list here, for people interested in helping out:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > We could use the help. :)
> Here's another way to help out: Openwall is a mentoring organization for
> Google Summer of Code 2011 (GSoC), and one of our "ideas" is this:
> "Linux kernel hardening - extract security hardening changes from various
> patches (which the mentor will point out), forward-port them to the
> latest mainstream kernels, make it easy to enable/disable the hardening
> measures (both compile- and runtime), add documentation, properly submit
> to and work with LKML (make proposals and own discussions to completion:
> either rejection or acceptance).  This is a noble but thankless job to
> do, so be prepared!  The authors of those changes did not submit them
> "properly" and did not "own discussions to completion" precisely because
> the job is so thankless. ;-)
> This may optionally involve work with other kernel branches and other
> upstreams as well (OpenVZ, Red Hat, Ubuntu)."
> Under Owl tasks, we also have:
> "The rhel6 branch OpenVZ kernel that we'd update to will need to be
> security-hardened, in part by reviewing, extracting, cleaning up,
> porting, and documenting/commenting individual changes from grsecurity
> and PaX (some of which have originated from Openwall's patches for older
> kernels), and in part by implementing new security-related
> changes/features, some of those specific to container-based
> virtualization (purpose-specific restrictions to be applied on
> per-container basis).  We expect help/consulting/mentoring from the
> author of PaX on portions that are PaX (some of these are difficult to
> understand from the code alone, especially the rationale behind things
> being done in a certain way), whereas the rest are not too complicated
> for a capable person to fully figure out on their own.
> We should work with upstreams - OpenVZ and Red Hat - to try and get some
> of these enhancements accepted."


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