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Date:   Wed, 6 Dec 2017 19:37:34 +0100
From:   Ingo Molnar <mingo@...nel.org>
To:     Gary Lin <glin@...e.com>
Cc:     Josh Boyer <jwboyer@...oraproject.org>, x86 <x86@...nel.org>,
        "Linux-Kernel@...r. Kernel. Org" <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>,
        "linux-efi@...r.kernel.org" <linux-efi@...r.kernel.org>,
        "linux-arm-kernel@...ts.infradead.org" 
        <linux-arm-kernel@...ts.infradead.org>,
        "H. Peter Anvin" <hpa@...or.com>,
        Thomas Gleixner <tglx@...utronix.de>,
        Ard Biesheuvel <ard.biesheuvel@...aro.org>,
        Ingo Molnar <mingo@...hat.com>,
        Matt Fleming <matt@...eblueprint.co.uk>,
        Catalin Marinas <catalin.marinas@....com>,
        Will Deacon <will.deacon@....com>, Joey Lee <jlee@...e.com>
Subject: Re: [RFC v3 PATCH 0/2] Introduce Security Version to EFI Stub


* Gary Lin <glin@...e.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 05, 2017 at 04:14:26PM -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> > On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 5:01 AM, Gary Lin <glin@...e.com> wrote:
> > > The series of patches introduce Security Version to EFI stub.
> > >
> > > Security Version is a monotonically increasing number and designed to
> > > prevent the user from loading an insecure kernel accidentally. The
> > > bootloader maintains a list of security versions corresponding to
> > > different distributions. After fixing a critical vulnerability, the
> > > distribution kernel maintainer bumps the "version", and the bootloader
> > > updates the list automatically. When the user tries to load a kernel
> > > with a lower security version, the bootloader shows a warning prompt
> > > to notify the user the potential risk.
> > 
> > If a distribution releases a kernel with a higher security version and
> > that it automatically updated on boot, what happens if that kernel
> > contains a different bug that causes it to fail to boot or break
> > critical functionality?  At that point, the user's machine would be in
> > a state where the higher security version is enforced but the only
> > kernel that provides that is broken.  Wouldn't that make a bad
> > situation even worse by now requiring manual acceptance of the older
> > SV kernel boot physically at the machine?
> > 
> > I feel like I'm missing a detail here or something.
> > 
> If the new kernel fails to boot, then the user has to choose the kernel
> manually anyway, and there will be an option in the warning prompt to
> lower SV.

And what if the firmware does not support a lowering of the SV?

Thanks,

	Ingo

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