Kdump with signed images

Vivek Goyal vgoyal at redhat.com
Thu Nov 1 09:53:56 EDT 2012

On Thu, Nov 01, 2012 at 09:10:03AM -0400, Vivek Goyal wrote:

> > 
> > > - So say we can sign /sbin/kexec at build time and distros can do that.
> > > - Verify the signature at exec time using kernel keyring and if
> > >   verification happens successfully, say process gains extra capability.
> > > - Use this new capability to determine whether kexec_load() will be
> > >   successful or not.
> > > 
> > > Even if we can do all this, it still has the issue of being able to
> > > stop the process in user space and replace the code at run time
> > > and be able to launch unsigned kernel.
> Thinking more about it. Can we just keep track whether a process was
> ptraced or not and disallow kexec_load() syscall if it was ptraced.
> (I am assuming that ptrace is the only way to change process code/data).
> So binaries can be signed offline. Signature verification can take place
> using kernel keyring at exec() time. And we can keep track of ptraced
> processes and disallow calling kexec_load() for such processes. If this
> is implementable, this should take care of following requirement raised
> by matthew.
> ************************************************************************
> It must be impossible for the kernel to launch any /sbin/kexec that hasn't
> been signed by a trusted key that's been built into the kernel, and it
> must be impossible for anything other than /sbin/kexec to make the kexec
> system call.
> *************************************************************************
> Thoughts?

Eric responded but my mistake he responded to only me. So I will quickly 
put his idea here.

[start quote]

You can't ptrace a process that has a capability you don't.

That should be enforced in security/commoncap/

[end quote]

This looks like a good idea. Upon verification signed binaries will be
assigned special capability and then no unsigned binary should be able
to ptrace signed/verified processes


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