[PATCH v2 17/20] arm64: bp hardening: Allow late CPUs to enable work around

Suzuki K Poulose Suzuki.Poulose at arm.com
Thu Feb 8 09:59:55 PST 2018

On 08/02/18 17:59, Suzuki K Poulose wrote:
> On 08/02/18 16:58, Suzuki K Poulose wrote:
>> On 08/02/18 12:26, Marc Zyngier wrote:
>>> On 08/02/18 12:19, Suzuki K Poulose wrote:
>>>> On 07/02/18 10:39, Dave Martin wrote:
>>>>> On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 06:28:04PM +0000, Suzuki K Poulose wrote:
>>>>>> We defend against branch predictor training based exploits by
>>>>>> taking specific actions (based on the CPU model) to invalidate
>>>>>> the Branch predictor buffer (BPB). This is implemented by per-CPU
>>>>>> ptr, which installs the specific actions for the CPU model.
>>>>>> The core code can handle the following cases where:
>>>>>>    1) some CPUs doesn't need any work around
>>>>>>    2) a CPU can install the work around, when it is brought up,
>>>>>>       irrespective of how late that happens.
>>>> With the recent patches from Marc to expose this information to KVM
>>>> guests, it looks like allowing a late CPU to turn this on is not going
>>>> to be a good idea. We unconditionally set the capability even
>>>> when we don't need the mitigation. So I am not really sure if
>>>> we should go ahead with this patch. I am open to suggestions
>>>> Marc,
>>>> What do you think ?
>>> By the time we bring in that CPU that requires some level of mitigation,
>>> we may be running a guest already, and we've told that guest that no
>>> mitigation was required. If we bring in that CPU, we break that promise,
>>> and the guest becomes vulnerable without knowing about it.
>>> The same thing is valid for userspace once we expose the status of the
>>> mitigation in /sys, just like x86 does. If we transition from not
>>> vulnerable to vulnerable (or even mitigated), we have lied to userspace.
>>> In either case, I don't think breaking this contract is acceptable.
>> Thanks Marc, I have dropped this patch from the series.
> On a second thought, should we allow this if the KVM is not configured in ?

Oops, no! Please ignore it. We are going to expose this to other userpsace anyway.
Sorry about the noise.


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