Re: [PATCH 0/2] capabilities

From: Andrew Morton
Date: Wed May 12 2004 - 20:57:03 EST

Andy Lutomirski <luto@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > What if there are existing applications which are deliberately or
> > inadvertently relying upon the current behaviour? That seems unlikely, but
> > the consequences are gruesome.
> Like something that turns KEEPCAPS on then setuid()s then executes an
> untrusted program?

Or if it simply has caps and then does exec.

> > If I'm right in this concern, the fixed behaviour should be opt-in. That
> > could be via a new prctl() thingy but I think it would be better to do it
> > via a kernel boot parameter. Because long-term we should have the fixed
> > semantics and we should not be making people change userspace for some
> > transient 2.6-only kernel behaviour.
> The prctl would defeat the purpose (imagine if bash forgot the prctl --
> then the whole thing is pointless).

yup, lots of apps would need to be changed to interface with something
which won't be present in 2.8 kernels.

> I'll cook up the boot parameter in
> the next couple days (probably with a config option and some kind of
> warning that the old behavior is deprecated).

I wouldn't bother with a config option.

> Is it a problem if I make
> the changes to init's state unconditional? (I still don't see why
> CAP_SETPCAP is dangerous for root to have...)

I'd be more comfortable (ie: comfort level non-zero) if there was zero
behaviour change if the boot option isn't enabled.

> The only concern is that some new code relies on the new inheritable
> semantics. That shouldn't be so bad, though, since that's just an extra
> precaution (if there are insecure setuid binaries around, you already
> have problems).

Yes, we can live with that. The price of prior sins.
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