[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH v3 2/3] x86/ldt: Make modify_ldt optional

On Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 04:40:14PM -0700, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 4:36 PM, Kees Cook <keescook@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > I've been pondering something like this that is even MORE generic, for
> > any syscall. Something like a "syscalls" directory under
> > /proc/sys/kernel, with 1 entry per syscall. "0" is "available", "1" is
> > disabled, and "-1" disabled until next boot.
> >
> It might want to be /proc/sys/kernel/syscalls/[abi]/[name], possibly
> with more than just those options.  We might want "disabled, returns
> ENOSYS", "disabled, returns EPERM", and a lock bit.
> On x86 at least, the implementation's easy -- we can just poke the
> syscall table.

I wouldn't do it these days. Around 2000-2001, with a friend we designed
a module with its userland counterpart which was called "overloader". The
principle was to intercept syscalls in order to enforce some form of
policies, log values, or remap paths, etc. The first use was to log all
file creations during a "make install" to more easily build packages. It
was at the era where it was easy to modify the syscall table from a module,
in kernel 2.2.

We quickly found that beyond logging/rewriting syscall arguments, it had
limited use cases when used as a "syscall firewall" because many syscalls
are still too coarse to decide whether you want to enable/disable them.
I remember that socketcall() and ioctl() were among the annoying ones.
Either you totally enable or totally disable. In the end, the only valid
use cases we found for enabling/disabling a syscall were limited to a very
small set for debugging purposes, in order to force some application code
to detect a missing implementation and switch to an alternative (eg: these
days if you suspect a bug in epoll you could disable it and force the app
to use poll instead). It was still useful to disable module loading and
FS mounting but that was about all by then.

All this to say that probably only a handful of tricky syscalls would
need an on/off switch but clearly not all of them at all, so I'd rather
add a few entries just for the relevant ones, mainly to fix compatibility
issues and nothing more. Eg: what's the point of disabling exit(), wait(),
kill(), fork() or getpid()... It would only increase the difficulty to
sort out bug reports.

Just my opinion,

Xen-devel mailing list



Lists.xenproject.org is hosted with RackSpace, monitoring our
servers 24x7x365 and backed by RackSpace's Fanatical Support®.