Re: [RFC 0/3] extend kexec_file_load system call

From: Vivek Goyal
Date: Wed Jul 13 2016 - 14:22:57 EST

On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 06:40:10PM +0100, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 09:03:38AM -0400, Vivek Goyal wrote:
> > On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 09:26:39AM +0100, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> > > Indeed - maybe Eric knows better, but I can't see any situation where
> > > the dtb we load via kexec should ever affect "the bootloader", unless
> > > the "kernel" that's being loaded into kexec is "the bootloader".
> > >
> > > Now, going back to the more fundamental issue raised in my first reply,
> > > about the kernel command line.
> > >
> > > On x86, I can see that it _is_ possible for userspace to specify a
> > > command line, and the kernel loading the image provides the command
> > > line to the to-be-kexeced kernel with very little checking. So, if
> > > your kernel is signed, what stops the "insecure userspace" loading
> > > a signed kernel but giving it an insecure rootfs and/or console?
> >
> > It is not kexec specific. I could do this for regular boot too, right?
> >
> > Command line options are not signed. I thought idea behind secureboot
> > was to execute only trusted code and command line options don't enforce
> > you to execute unsigned code.
> >
> > So it sounds like different class of security problems which you are
> > referring to and not necessarily covered by secureboot or signed
> > kernel.
> Let me give you an example.
> You have a secure boot setup, where the firmware/ROM validates the boot
> loader. Good, the boot loader hasn't been tampered with.
> You interrupt the boot loader and are able to modify the command line
> for the booted kernel.
> The boot loader loads the kernel and verifies the kernel's signature.
> Good, the kernel hasn't been tampered with. The kernel starts running.
> You've plugged in a USB drive to the device, and specified a partition
> containing a root filesystem that you control to the kernel. The
> validated kernel finds the USB drive, and mounts it, and executes
> your own binaries on the USB drive.

You will require physical access to the machine to be able to
insert your usb drive. And IIRC, argument was that if attacker has
physical access to machine, all bets are off anyway.

> You run a shell on the console. You now have control of the system,
> and can mount the real rootfs, inspect it, and work out what it does,
> etc.
> At this point, what use was all the validation that the secure boot
> has done? Absolutely useless.
> If you can change the command line arguments given to the kernel, you
> have no security, no matter how much you verify signatures. It's
> the illusion of security, nothing more, nothing less.
> --
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