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Date:   Fri, 26 Jun 2020 11:56:16 -0700
From:   Eric Biggers <ebiggers@...nel.org>
To:     Gwendal Grignou <gwendal@...omium.org>
Cc:     Sarthak Kukreti <sarthakkukreti@...omium.org>, tytso@....edu,
        linux-ext4@...r.kernel.org
Subject: Re: [PATCH] tune2fs: allow remove VERITY

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 11:26:44AM -0700, Gwendal Grignou wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 9:09 AM Eric Biggers <ebiggers@...nel.org> wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 12:06:22AM -0700, Gwendal Grignou wrote:
> > > On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 7:40 PM Eric Biggers <ebiggers@...nel.org> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 07:31:07PM -0700, Gwendal Grignou wrote:
> > > > > Allow verity flag to be removed from the susperblock:
> > > > > Tests:
> > > > > - check the signed file is readable by older kernel after flag
> > > > > is removed. EXT4_VERITY_FL replaces EXT4_EXT_MIGRATE that has been
> > > > > removed in 2009.
> > > > > - when a new kernel is reinstalled, check reenabling verity flag
> > > > > allow signature to be verified (fsverity measure ...).
> > > > >
> > > > > Signed-off-by: Gwendal Grignou <gwendal@...omium.org>
> > > > > ---
> > > > >  misc/tune2fs.c | 3 ++-
> > > > >  1 file changed, 2 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)
> > > > >
> > > > > diff --git a/misc/tune2fs.c b/misc/tune2fs.c
> > > > > index 314cc0d0..724b8014 100644
> > > > > --- a/misc/tune2fs.c
> > > > > +++ b/misc/tune2fs.c
> > > > > @@ -198,7 +198,8 @@ static __u32 clear_ok_features[3] = {
> > > > >               EXT4_FEATURE_RO_COMPAT_QUOTA |
> > > > >               EXT4_FEATURE_RO_COMPAT_PROJECT |
> > > > >               EXT4_FEATURE_RO_COMPAT_METADATA_CSUM |
> > > > > -             EXT4_FEATURE_RO_COMPAT_READONLY
> > > > > +             EXT4_FEATURE_RO_COMPAT_READONLY |
> > > > > +             EXT4_FEATURE_RO_COMPAT_VERITY
> > > > >  };
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > tune2fs doesn't allow removing features like encrypt, casefold, verity, extents,
> > > > and ea_inode because it doesn't know whether there are any inodes on the
> > > > filesystem that are using these features.  These features can't be removed if
> > > > there are any inodes using them.
> > >
> > > The verity case is slightly different though: beside metadata,
> > > encrypted files are useless.
> > > In the case of fs-verity, the file is still readable, its size is
> > > correct. Using debugfs, I checked the merkel tree blocks appended at
> > > the end of the file are still mapped to the file inode, they are
> > > marked as free when the file is removed.
> > > Are you concerned about filesystem corruption? When I re-enable the
> > > features and load a kernel that supports fs-verity, the protected
> > > files are signed and read-only as expected.
> >
> > The problem is that the old, non-verity-aware kernel will allow writing to
> > verity files, because it ignores the verity inode flag.  That will get files'
> > data out of sync with their Merkle trees, and possibly corrupt their Merkle
> > trees.
> You're right, an older kernel modifying the verity file corrupts the
> merkel tree and creates inconsistency between the blocks where the
> merkel tree was and the inode information.
> We could mark the file (not just the inode) as read only in
> fsverity_ioctl_enable() but that's a layering violation.

Even if we had enforced that verity files never have any writable mode bits set
(mode & 0222), it wouldn't matter because old kernels could just chmod() the
file back to writable.  Similarly for the immutable flag.

> >
> > This is why verity is a RO_COMPAT feature rather than a COMPAT one.  This
> > ensures that if the kernel isn't aware of verity, then the filesystem can only
> > be mounted read-only.
> It is indeed safe, but having the whole filesystem read-only is very
> restrictive.

Unfortunately there's no concept of ro_compat-ness for ext4 inode flags.
If there was, we would have used that instead.

Only the filesystem feature flags have the notion of compat/ro_compat/incompat.

> >
> > How about making 'tune2fs -O ^verity' remove the verity flag from all files
> > that have it and remove their Merkle trees by truncating blocks past i_size?
> > Would that work for you, or do you really need the verity-ness of files to be
> > preserved over 'tune2fs -O ^verity; tune2fs -O verity'?
> The latter would be better. Another use case would be a filesystem on
> an external device, shared by machines with different kernels. Even if
> there are no fs-verity files, the older kernel can not mount it
> read-write.
> Removing the verity feature would break the trust in the filesystem
> when the device is plugged in the original machine.
> 
> As long as the verified files are not extended (remove is fine), the
> option flag can be removed. No solutions are satisfactory, but for
> security sake, the current behavior is the safest.

I just don't think verity files existing with the verity feature disabled can be
a supported filesystem state, for the reasons I mentioned.

Can't you just re-enable verity on the files when re-enabling the feature flag?
Userspace must know which files are supposed to have verity enabled anyway.

- Eric

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