Re: [PATCH 3/4] capability: Create a new capability CAP_SIGNED

From: Eric W. Biederman
Date: Mon Mar 18 2013 - 18:32:20 EST

Adding Serge as he is the sometimes capabilities maintainer to this

Casey Schaufler <casey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> On 3/18/2013 11:30 AM, Vivek Goyal wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 10:50:21AM -0700, Casey Schaufler wrote:
>>> On 3/18/2013 10:05 AM, Vivek Goyal wrote:
>>>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 02:12:59PM -0700, Casey Schaufler wrote:
>>>>> On 3/15/2013 1:35 PM, Vivek Goyal wrote:
>>>>>> Create a new capability CAP_SIGNED which can be given to signed executables.
>>>>> This would drive anyone who is trying to use
>>>>> capabilities as the privilege mechanism it is
>>>>> intended to be absolutely crazy.
>>>> Will calling it CAP_SIGNED_SERVICES help. I intend to use it as
>>>> capability (and not just as a flag for task attribute).
>>> No, the name is not the issue.
>>>> I think primary difference here is that this capability is controlled
>>>> by kernel and only validly signed processes get it.
>>> Applications are allowed to manipulate their capability sets
>>> in well defined ways. The behavior of file based capabilities
>>> is also explicitly defined. The behavior you are proposing would
>>> violate both of these mechanisms.
>>>>> Capabilities aren't just random attribute bits. They
>>>>> indicate that a task has permission to violate a
>>>>> system policy (e.g. change the mode bits of a file
>>>>> the user doesn't own). Think about how this will
>>>>> interact with programs using file based capabilities.
>>>> It is a separate capability. I am not sure why it would
>>>> interfere with other capabilities or functionality out there.
>>> The behavior of capabilities is uniform. You can't have one
>>> capability that behaves differently from the others. If a
>>> file is unsigned but has CAP_SIGNED in the file capability
>>> set what do you expect to happen? Do you want a signed
>>> application to be able to drop and raise the fact that it
>>> is signed?
>> I have already removed this capability from bounding set. Behavior
>> I am looking for is that nobody should be able to set CAP_SIGNED
>> as file capability. I will look into that.
> No! You are not listening. All capabilities work the same way.
> If the file capabilities say ALL that means ALL. You do not get
> to put a hole in the middle of the file based capabilities.
>> I am thinking of this more as kernel managed capability. It is
>> not in bounding set of any process and it can not be set as file
>> capability.
> I heard that. No, you don't get to do that. All capabilities
> work the same way. Your attribute does not behave the way
> capabilities do, so you have to implement it some other way.
>> It is a new capability, so no existing user application should
>> be trying to set it.
> There are (and will be) applications that raise and drop all
> capabilities, and that do so for good reasons.
>> I think the only surprise would be that they can't drop it. If
>> that's a concern, may be we can allow dropping the capability.
>> But the side affect is that there is no way to gain it back for
>> the life time of process.
> Right. And that is a change to the capability mechanism. No, you
> don't get to do that.
> You don't want a new capability. You want a new attribute that
> behaves differently than capabilities do. You need to come up
> with a different way to implement your attribute. You do not get
> to change the way capabilities work.
>>> I expect that you don't want your attribute that indicates
>>> that the binary was signed to behave the same way that
>>> capabilities do. Like I said, capabilities are not just
>>> attribute bits. You need a different kind of process attribute
>>> to indicate that the binary was signed.
>> I think I need more than process attribute. One of the things
>> I am looking for is that signed processes run locked in memory
>> and nobody (i think no unsigned process) is able to do ptrace() on it.
>> Using the notion of capability might help here.
> There are already capabilities associated with ptrace. It would
> be simple to add a check for signatures in cap_ptrace_access_check.
>>> When (if ever) we have multiple LSM support you might consider
>>> doing this as a small LSM. Until then, you're going to need a
>>> different way to express the signature attribute.
>> I am not sure why you are viewing it as necessarily as attribute only.
>> I am thinking more in terms of that in certain situations, user space
>> processes can't perform certain operations (like kexec) untile and
>> unless process has the capability CAP_SIGNED_SERVICES. And this capability
>> is granted if upon exec() process signature are verified.
> Sigh. You need the process attribute to make the checks against. The
> process capability set, uids and groups are all examples of process
> attributes that exist today.
>> So yes it is little different from how capabilities are managed
>> currently. But is it very hard to extend the current capability definition
>> and include the fact that kernel can give additional capabilities to
>> processes based on some other factors.
> Yes. That is correct. That is why we have the LSM facility. The
> unfortunate fact is that you only get one LSM at a time today. I
> am working on fixing that, but there is still work to be done
> before it will be ready for upstream.
> If signed application controls are deemed sufficiently important
> and your implementation sound you should be able to get the signature
> attribute and the checks on that attribute into the base system.

Vivek the desired semantics for today for kexec is that you have an
application that is allowed CAP_SYS_BOOT in it's file capabilities.

In a context where root is not trusted with all capabilities by default
you want one or a couple of capabilities to only be possible when coming
from file capabilities. So that you can say. "I trust you oh great and
blessed executable do what you will."

I don't think those are contentious semantics.


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