Re: [PATCH security-next v5 00/30] LSM: Explict ordering

From: Kees Cook
Date: Thu Oct 11 2018 - 13:57:42 EST

On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 5:18 PM, Kees Cook <keescook@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> v5:
> - redesigned to use CONFIG_LSM= and lsm= for both ordering and enabling
> - dropped various Reviewed-bys due to rather large refactoring

Here's a tl;dr of the behavioral changes...

Right now, we have:

- hard-coded special LSM: capability which cannot be disabled.
- hard-coded "minor" LSMs: they are enabled in a static order based on
whether they are built into the kernel or not: yama, loadpin.
- a single LSM without a specified order because it only uses the
early-init position: integrity.
- "major" LSMs that are selected via CONFIG_DEFAULT_SECURITY= or
"security=" boot param.
- SELinux and AppArmor each can enable/disable themselves via
CONFIG_..._BOOTPARAM_VALUE= and selinux=/apparmor=.

So, right now, systems will have all the minor LSMs and integrity
initialized if they are built into the kernel without any way to
control their order or disable them at boot time. To select a major
LSM, the pattern is:

selinux=1 security=selinux

Note that both are used here because if you built with
just booting with "security=selinux" just disables AppArmor but
SELinux stays disabled. So the documented way to switch majors is with
"selinux=1 security=selinux". *However* Tomoyo and Smack do not have
separate enable/disable logic. They will work fine with just

Now, in order to gain arbitrary LSM ordering, this series introduces
CONFIG_LSM= (to replace CONFIG_DEFAULT_SECURITY=) and "lsm=" (to
replace "security="). Note that "security=" has not been removed -- it
will still work. Mixing it with "lsm=" can lead to situations where
"security=" becomes effectively ignored, though.

In the rest of this I'm going to ignore capability: it will always be
first and it will always be enabled.

Assuming that all LSMs are built in (e.g. yama, loadpin, selinux,
smack, tomoyo, apparmor, integrity), here are the changes:

To choose the "default major LSM" of AppArmor before:

To choose the "default major LSM" of AppArmor _without_ extreme stacking now:

To choose the "default major LSM" of AppArmor with future extreme stacking now:

Whichever exclusive LSM is listed _first_ will be the first to attempt
initialization. Any non-conflicting LSMs following it will initialize

This means a distro can disable the "blob-sharing" behavior by just
providing a CONFIG_LSM= that includes a single major LSM.

To switch to SELinux at boot time with
"CONFIG_LSM=yama,loadpin,integrity,apparmor", the old way continues to

selinux=1 security=selinux

This will work still, since it will enable selinux (selinux=1) and
disable all other major LSMs (security=selinux).

The new way to enable selinux would be using

To see the behaviors, you can boot with "lsm.debug". (Note that
CONFIG_LSM= and "lsm=" are handled exactly the same, so a boot with
"lsm=" would see the same results as a boot without "lsm=", but with
CONFIG_LSM= set to that string.) An example:

lsm.debug lsm=integrity,cows,loadpin,capability,apparmor,tomoyo
selinux=1 security=selinux


[ 0.292502] LSM: Security Framework initializing
[ 0.293109] LSM: security=selinux disabled: smack
[ 0.293464] LSM: security=selinux disabled: tomoyo
[ 0.294464] LSM: security=selinux disabled: apparmor
[ 0.295109] LSM: first ordering: capability (enabled)
[ 0.295464] LSM: cmdline ordering: integrity (enabled)
[ 0.296464] LSM: cmdline ignored: cows
[ 0.296953] LSM: cmdline ordering: loadpin (enabled)
[ 0.297464] LSM: cmdline ignored: capability
[ 0.298464] LSM: cmdline ordering: apparmor (disabled)
[ 0.299136] LSM: cmdline ordering: tomoyo (disabled)
[ 0.299464] LSM: security= ordering: selinux (enabled)
[ 0.300464] LSM: cmdline disabled: smack
[ 0.300979] LSM: cmdline disabled: yama
[ 0.301464] LSM: exclusive chosen: selinux
[ 0.302008] LSM: initializing capability
[ 0.302464] LSM: initializing integrity
[ 0.302968] LSM: initializing loadpin
[ 0.303464] LoadPin: ready to pin (currently not enforcing)
[ 0.304464] LSM: initializing selinux
[ 0.304946] SELinux: Initializing.

With yama left out of lsm=, it is disabled. Invalid,
non-mutable-order, or unbuilt LSMs are ignored (i.e. "cows" and
"capability" above). "security=selinux" disables all the other majors
(their ordering is left alone) and things not mentioned in lsm= and[1]
security= are explicitly disabled (and left out of the ordering).

Another example, without "security="...

lsm.debug lsm=integrity,yama,cows,loadpin,capability,apparmor,tomoyo,selinux,smack

[ 0.291697] LSM: Security Framework initializing
[ 0.292660] LSM: first ordering: capability (enabled)
[ 0.293337] LSM: cmdline ordering: integrity (enabled)
[ 0.293659] LSM: cmdline ordering: yama (enabled)
[ 0.294659] LSM: cmdline ignored: cows
[ 0.295169] LSM: cmdline ordering: loadpin (enabled)
[ 0.295659] LSM: cmdline ignored: capability
[ 0.296231] LSM: cmdline ordering: apparmor (enabled)
[ 0.296659] LSM: cmdline ordering: tomoyo (enabled)
[ 0.297659] LSM: cmdline ordering: selinux (enabled)
[ 0.298659] LSM: cmdline ordering: smack (enabled)
[ 0.299309] LSM: exclusive chosen: apparmor
[ 0.299659] LSM: exclusive disabled: tomoyo
[ 0.300216] LSM: exclusive disabled: selinux
[ 0.300659] LSM: exclusive disabled: smack
[ 0.301208] LSM: initializing capability
[ 0.301659] LSM: initializing integrity
[ 0.302662] LSM: initializing yama
[ 0.303124] Yama: becoming mindful.
[ 0.303666] LSM: initializing loadpin
[ 0.304164] LoadPin: ready to pin (currently not enforcing)
[ 0.304660] LSM: initializing apparmor
[ 0.305179] AppArmor: AppArmor initialized

Given that apparmor is listed first, its exclusivity disables the
other exclusive LSMs, and initialization proceeds.

So, this should work for all the cases we've got coming, as far as I can see! :)


[1] In testing v5, I did discover one glitch in my "security="
handling, which I've fixed locally now for v6.

Kees Cook
Pixel Security