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authorKees Cook <keescook@chromium.org>2011-12-21 12:17:04 -0800
committerJames Morris <jmorris@namei.org>2012-02-10 09:18:52 +1100
commit2d514487faf188938a4ee4fb3464eeecfbdcf8eb (patch)
tree42147f0459ab062375f63891943242e3b95797bb /Documentation/security/Yama.txt
parent1a2a4d06e1e95260c470ebe3a945f61bbe8c1fd8 (diff)
security: Yama LSM
This adds the Yama Linux Security Module to collect DAC security improvements (specifically just ptrace restrictions for now) that have existed in various forms over the years and have been carried outside the mainline kernel by other Linux distributions like Openwall and grsecurity. Signed-off-by: Kees Cook <keescook@chromium.org> Acked-by: John Johansen <john.johansen@canonical.com> Signed-off-by: James Morris <jmorris@namei.org>
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+Yama is a Linux Security Module that collects a number of system-wide DAC
+security protections that are not handled by the core kernel itself. To
+select it at boot time, specify "security=yama" (though this will disable
+any other LSM).
+
+Yama is controlled through sysctl in /proc/sys/kernel/yama:
+
+- ptrace_scope
+
+==============================================================
+
+ptrace_scope:
+
+As Linux grows in popularity, it will become a larger target for
+malware. One particularly troubling weakness of the Linux process
+interfaces is that a single user is able to examine the memory and
+running state of any of their processes. For example, if one application
+(e.g. Pidgin) was compromised, it would be possible for an attacker to
+attach to other running processes (e.g. Firefox, SSH sessions, GPG agent,
+etc) to extract additional credentials and continue to expand the scope
+of their attack without resorting to user-assisted phishing.
+
+This is not a theoretical problem. SSH session hijacking
+(http://www.storm.net.nz/projects/7) and arbitrary code injection
+(http://c-skills.blogspot.com/2007/05/injectso.html) attacks already
+exist and remain possible if ptrace is allowed to operate as before.
+Since ptrace is not commonly used by non-developers and non-admins, system
+builders should be allowed the option to disable this debugging system.
+
+For a solution, some applications use prctl(PR_SET_DUMPABLE, ...) to
+specifically disallow such ptrace attachment (e.g. ssh-agent), but many
+do not. A more general solution is to only allow ptrace directly from a
+parent to a child process (i.e. direct "gdb EXE" and "strace EXE" still
+work), or with CAP_SYS_PTRACE (i.e. "gdb --pid=PID", and "strace -p PID"
+still work as root).
+
+For software that has defined application-specific relationships
+between a debugging process and its inferior (crash handlers, etc),
+prctl(PR_SET_PTRACER, pid, ...) can be used. An inferior can declare which
+other process (and its descendents) are allowed to call PTRACE_ATTACH
+against it. Only one such declared debugging process can exists for
+each inferior at a time. For example, this is used by KDE, Chromium, and
+Firefox's crash handlers, and by Wine for allowing only Wine processes
+to ptrace each other.
+
+0 - classic ptrace permissions: a process can PTRACE_ATTACH to any other
+ process running under the same uid, as long as it is dumpable (i.e.
+ did not transition uids, start privileged, or have called
+ prctl(PR_SET_DUMPABLE...) already).
+
+1 - restricted ptrace: a process must have a predefined relationship
+ with the inferior it wants to call PTRACE_ATTACH on. By default,
+ this relationship is that of only its descendants when the above
+ classic criteria is also met. To change the relationship, an
+ inferior can call prctl(PR_SET_PTRACER, debugger, ...) to declare
+ an allowed debugger PID to call PTRACE_ATTACH on the inferior.
+
+The original children-only logic was based on the restrictions in grsecurity.
+
+==============================================================

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