lists  /  announce  owl-users  owl-dev  john-users  john-dev  passwdqc-users  yescrypt  popa3d-users  /  oss-security  kernel-hardening  musl  sabotage  tlsify  passwords  /  crypt-dev  xvendor  /  Bugtraq  Full-Disclosure  linux-kernel  linux-netdev  linux-ext4  linux-hardening  PHC 
Open Source and information security mailing list archives
Hash Suite: Windows password security audit tool. GUI, reports in PDF.
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date:   Wed, 12 Aug 2020 15:31:50 +0200
To:     Paolo Bonzini <>
Cc:     Like Xu <>, Yao <>,
        Sean Christopherson <>,
        Vitaly Kuznetsov <>,
        Wanpeng Li <>,
        Jim Mattson <>,
        Joerg Roedel <>,,,
        Arnaldo Carvalho de Melo <>,
        Mark Rutland <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] KVM: x86/pmu: Add '.exclude_hv = 1' for guest perf_event

On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 01:32:58PM +0200, Paolo Bonzini wrote:
> On 12/08/20 13:11, wrote:
> > Right, but we want to tighten the permission checks and not excluding_hv
> > is just sloppy.
> I would just document that it's ignored as it doesn't make sense.  ARM64
> does that too, for new processors where the kernel is not itself split
> between supervisor and hypervisor privilege levels.

This isn't about x86, I want these checks in generic code. We have the
flag, it needs checking.

unpriv users have no busniess getting anything from a possible hv.

> > The thing is, we very much do not want to allow unpriv user to be able
> > to create: exclude_host=1, exclude_guest=0 counters (they currently
> > can).
> That would be the case of an unprivileged user that wants to measure
> performance of its guests.  It's a scenario that makes a lot of sense,
> are you worried about side channels?  Can perf-events on guests leak
> more about the host than perf-events on a random userspace program?

An unpriv user can run guests?

> > Also, exclude_host is really poorly defined:
> > 
> >
> > 
> >   "Suppose we have nested virt:
> > 
> > 	  L0-hv
> > 	  |
> > 	  G0/L1-hv
> > 	     |
> > 	     G1
> > 
> >   And we're running in G0, then:
> > 
> >   - 'exclude_hv' would exclude L0 events
> >   - 'exclude_host' would ... exclude L1-hv events?
> >   - 'exclude_guest' would ... exclude G1 events?
> From the point of view of G0, L0 *does not exist at all*.  You just
> cannot see L0 events if you're running in G0.

On x86, probably, in general, I'm not at all sure, we have that
exclude_hv flag after all.

> exclude_host/exclude_guest are the right definition.

For what? I still think exclude_host is absolute shit. If you set it,
you'll not get anything even without virt.

Run a native linux kernel, no kvm loaded, create a counter with
exclude_host=1 and you'll get nothing, that's just really confusing IMO.
There is no host, so excluding it should not affect anything.

> >   Then the next question is, if G0 is a host, does the L1-hv run in
> >   G0 userspace or G0 kernel space?
> It's mostly kernel, but sometimes you're interested in events from QEMU
> or whoever else has opened /dev/kvm.  In that case you care about G0
> userspace too.

I really don't think userspace helpers should be consideed part of
the host, but whatever.

> > The way it is implemented, you basically have to always set
> > exclude_host=0, even if there is no virt at all and you want to measure
> > your own userspace thing -- which is just weird.
> I understand regretting having exclude_guest that way; include_guest
> (defaulting to 0!) would have made more sense.  But defaulting to
> exclude_host==0 makes sense: if there is no virt at all, memset(0) does
> the right thing so it does not seem weird to me.

Sure, but having exclude_host affect anything outside of kvm is still
dodgy as heck.

> > I suppose the 'best' option at this point is something like:
> > 
> > 	/*
> > 	 * comment that explains the trainwreck.
> > 	 */
> > 	if (!exclude_host && !exclude_guest)
> > 		exclude_guest = 1;
> > 
> > 	if ((!exclude_hv || !exclude_guest) && !perf_allow_kernel())
> > 		return -EPERM;
> > 
> > But that takes away the possibility of actually having:
> > 'exclude_host=0, exclude_guest=0' to create an event that measures both,
> > which also sucks.
> In fact both of the above "if"s suck. :(

If, as you seem to imply above, that unpriv users can create guests,
then maybe so, but if I look at /dev/kvm it seems to have 0660
permissions and thus really requires privileges.

Powered by blists - more mailing lists