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

[Xen-devel] Ping: [PATCH v3 2/4] x86: suppress SMEP and SMAP while running 32-bit PV guest code

>>> On 17.03.16 at 09:03,  wrote:
> Since such guests' kernel code runs in ring 1, their memory accesses,
> at the paging layer, are supervisor mode ones, and hence subject to
> SMAP/SMEP checks. Such guests cannot be expected to be aware of those
> two features though (and so far we also don't expose the respective
> feature flags), and hence may suffer page faults they cannot deal with.
> While the placement of the re-enabling slightly weakens the intended
> protection, it was selected such that 64-bit paths would remain
> unaffected where possible. At the expense of a further performance hit
> the re-enabling could be put right next to the CLACs.
> Note that this introduces a number of extra TLB flushes - CR4.SMEP
> transitioning from 0 to 1 always causes a flush, and it transitioning
> from 1 to 0 may also do.
> Signed-off-by: Jan Beulich <jbeulich@xxxxxxxx>

So I think we need to take some decision here, and I'm afraid
Andrew and I won't be able to settle this between us. He's
validly concerned about the performance impact this got proven
to have (for 32-bit PV guests), yet I continue to think that correct
behavior is more relevant than performance. Hence I think we
should bite the bullet and take the change. For those who value
performance more than security, they can always disable the use
of SMEP and SMAP via command line option.

Of course I'm also concerned that Intel, who did introduce the
functional regression in the first place, so far didn't participate at
all in finding an acceptable solution to the problem at hand...


Xen-devel mailing list



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