Re: [RFC] capabilities: Ambient capabilities

From: Andrew G. Morgan
Date: Fri Mar 13 2015 - 09:24:37 EST

> It's to preserve the invariant that pA is always a subset of pI.

But since a user can always raise a bit in pI if it is present in pP,
what does this invariant add to your model other than inconvenience?

>> I'm also unclear how you can turn off this new 'feature' for a process
>> tree? As it is, the code creates an exploit path for a capable (pP !=
>> 0) program with an exploitable flaw to create a privilege escalation
>> for an arbitrary child program.
> Huh? If you exploit the parent, you already win. Yes, if a kiddie
> injects shellcode that does system("/bin/bash") into some pP != 0
> program, they don't actually elevate their privileges. On the other
> hand, by the time an attacker injected shellcode for:
> system("/bin/bash");

Let's call the above two lines [a] and [b]. With this patch, you are
encouraging folk to write programs that contain a line like [a]
already. So, yes, I am saying that you are creating an exploitable
path in these programs that says if someone can inject
system("/bin/bash") into these programs they can get a new (because of
this patch) privilege escalation.

In the prevailing model, this kind of privilege escalation (resulting
from naive inheritance) is designed out. I recognize that you want to
add it back in, but I am concerned that you are not allowing for the
possibility that some folk might still want to still be able to
prevent it.

> into a target, they can already do whatever they want.
>> While I understand that everyone
>> 'knows what they are doing' in implementing this change, I'm convinced
>> that folk that are up to no good also do... Why not provide a lockable
>> secure bit to selectively disable this support?
> Show me a legitimate use case and I'll gladly implement a secure bit.

Thanks. I was kind of hoping that you would add a lockable secure bit
that defaults this support to off, but can be used to turn it on with
or without a lock. That way, you can avoid disturbing the legacy
defaults (no surprises).

> In the mean time, I don't even believe that there's a legitimate use
> for any of the other secure bits (except keepcaps, and I don't know
> why that's a securebit in the first place).

Those bits currently make it possible to run a subsystem with no
[set]uid-0 support in its process tree.

> In the mean time, see CVE-2014-3215 for an example of why securebits
> are probably more trouble than they're worth.

I think it is safe to say that naive privilege inheritance has a fair
track record of being exploited orders of magnitude more frequently
than this. After all, these are the reasons LD_PRELOAD and shell
script setuid bits are suppressed.


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