Re: Kernel 4.3 breaks security in systems using capabilities

From: Richard Weinberger
Date: Mon Nov 02 2015 - 13:38:47 EST

CC'ing patch authors.

On Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 7:06 PM, Klaus Ethgen <Klaus+lkml@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hash: SHA512
> Hi,
> I read recently about patch 58319057b7847667f0c9585b9de0e8932b0fdb08
> which made it into kernel 4.3 recently. And I have to say that I was
> shocked on how could such a patch that breaks normal use of capabilities
> make it into the kernel.
> Usually I have set very own crafted capabilities set to files instead of
> having them SUID root. With that, I have a comparable set of inheritable
> capabilities set for limited users. That allows me to nearly drop all
> SUID binaries and replace it by only giving the processes the
> capabilities they need but only if the users are allowed to act with
> that capabilities. Especially, and that is important, it inhibit any
> leak of rights to any forked process, be it indented or by a security
> problem of the binary.
> With the patch above, any process that is spawned by such a program will
> inherit the raised capabilities if it has no own filecapabilities set.
> Even worse, even every user made tool can be target for such
> escalations! That drives the benefits in security of capabilities over
> SUID ad-absurdum.
> Let me add here, that I disagree with Andy Lutomirski about the
> usefulness of capability inheritance in kernels before that patch. They
> was fully usefull to only allow selective capabilities if both, the
> binary and the user was allowed to use it. I never want to have any
> capabilities for processes that I did not allow them to have. Even
> worse, I never want any capabilities allowed for any shell. It is
> horrible to even think about such a possibility!.
>> Users with nonzero pA are unlikely to unintentionally leak that
>> capability. If they run programs that try to drop privileges, dropping
>> privileges will still work.
> Even that is naiv. There are only few programs out there that do
> actively drop privileges. Most are agnostic about capabilities. But this
> crappy patch introduce a need for _every_ tool to drop all capabilities
> right after start to stay in a secure system.
> So please revert that patch as fast as possible before it does some harm
> by getting into some real world systems!
> Regards
> Klaus Ethgen
> - --
> Klaus Ethgen
> pub 4096R/4E20AF1C 2011-05-16 Klaus Ethgen <Klaus@xxxxxxxxx>
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