Re: [PATCH 2/2] lguest: virtio-rng support

From: Rusty Russell
Date: Sat May 17 2008 - 02:28:56 EST

On Saturday 17 May 2008 14:50:31 H. Peter Anvin wrote:
> Rusty Russell wrote:
> > On Friday 16 May 2008 20:49:41 Johannes Berg wrote:
> >>> +
> >>> +/* Our random number generator device reads from /dev/urandom into the
> >>> Guest's + * input buffers. The usual case is that the Guest doesn't
> >>> want random numbers + * and so has no buffers although /dev/urandom is
> >>> still readable, whereas + * console is the reverse.
> >>
> >> Is it really a good idea to use the hosts /dev/urandom to fill the
> >> guests /dev/random?
> >
> > Technically it's up to rngd in the guest to decide whether to feed
> > entropy or not (ie. /dev/urandom or /dev/random).
> Uhm, no. It's not. Unless the host provides actual entropy
> information, you have a security hole.

Huh? We just can't assume it adds entropy. AFAICT rngd -H0 is what we want

> > If we use /dev/random in the host, we risk a DoS. But since /dev/random
> > is 0666 on my system, perhaps noone actually cares?
> There is no point in feeding the host /dev/urandom to the guest (except
> for seeding, which can be handled through other means); it will do its
> own mixing anyway.

Seeding is good, but unlikely to be done properly for first boot of some
standard virtualized container. In practice, feeding /dev/urandom from the
host will make /dev/urandom harder to predict in the guest.

> The reason to provide anything at all from the host
> is to give it "golden" entropy bits.

But you did not address the DoS question: can we ignore it? Or are we trading
off a DoS in the host against a potential security weakness in the guest?

If so, how do we resolve it?

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