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Date:   Thu, 5 Apr 2018 12:55:33 +0300
From:   Igor Stoppa <>
To:     Sargun Dhillon <>,
CC:     <>, <>,
        <>, <>, <>,
        <>, <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v4 0/1] Safe LSM (un)loading, and immutable hooks

On 01/04/18 08:41, Sargun Dhillon wrote:
> The biggest security benefit of this patchset is the introduction of
> read-only hooks, even if some security modules have mutable hooks.
> Currently, if you have any LSMs with mutable hooks it will render all heads, and
> list nodes mutable. These are a prime place to attack, because being able to
> manipulate those hooks is a way to bypass all LSMs easily, and to create a
> persistent, covert channel to intercept nearly all calls.
> If LSMs have a model to be unloaded, or are compled as modules, they should mark
> themselves mutable at compile time, and use the LSM_HOOK_INIT_MUTABLE macro
> instead of the LSM_HOOK_INIT macro, so their hooks are on the mutable
> chain.

I'd rather consider these types of hooks:

A) hooks that are either const or marked as RO after init

B) hooks that are writable for a short time, long enough to load
additional, non built-in modules, but then get locked down
I provided an example some time ago [1]

C) hooks that are unloadable (and therefore always attackable?)

Maybe type-A could be dropped and used only as type-B, if it's
acceptable that type-A hooks are vulnerable before lock-down of type-B

I have some doubts about the usefulness of type-C, though.
The benefit I see htat it brings is that it avoids having to reboot when
a mutable LSM is changed, at the price of leaving it attackable.

Do you have any specific case in mind where this trade-off would be



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