path: root/Documentation
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authorKees Cook <keescook@chromium.org>2014-01-23 15:55:59 -0800
committerLinus Torvalds <torvalds@linux-foundation.org>2014-01-23 16:37:03 -0800
commit7984754b99b6c89054edc405e9d9d35810a91d36 (patch)
tree9828ff56e995007158fecee07666f6a5c08f403a /Documentation
parent3b96d7db3b6dc99d207bca50037274d22e48dea5 (diff)
kexec: add sysctl to disable kexec_load
For general-purpose (i.e. distro) kernel builds it makes sense to build with CONFIG_KEXEC to allow end users to choose what kind of things they want to do with kexec. However, in the face of trying to lock down a system with such a kernel, there needs to be a way to disable kexec_load (much like module loading can be disabled). Without this, it is too easy for the root user to modify kernel memory even when CONFIG_STRICT_DEVMEM and modules_disabled are set. With this change, it is still possible to load an image for use later, then disable kexec_load so the image (or lack of image) can't be altered. The intention is for using this in environments where "perfect" enforcement is hard. Without a verified boot, along with verified modules, and along with verified kexec, this is trying to give a system a better chance to defend itself (or at least grow the window of discoverability) against attack in the face of a privilege escalation. In my mind, I consider several boot scenarios: 1) Verified boot of read-only verified root fs loading fd-based verification of kexec images. 2) Secure boot of writable root fs loading signed kexec images. 3) Regular boot loading kexec (e.g. kcrash) image early and locking it. 4) Regular boot with no control of kexec image at all. 1 and 2 don't exist yet, but will soon once the verified kexec series has landed. 4 is the state of things now. The gap between 2 and 4 is too large, so this change creates scenario 3, a middle-ground above 4 when 2 and 1 are not possible for a system. Signed-off-by: Kees Cook <keescook@chromium.org> Acked-by: Rik van Riel <riel@redhat.com> Cc: Vivek Goyal <vgoyal@redhat.com> Cc: Eric Biederman <ebiederm@xmission.com> Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <akpm@linux-foundation.org> Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <torvalds@linux-foundation.org>
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation')
1 files changed, 14 insertions, 1 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/sysctl/kernel.txt b/Documentation/sysctl/kernel.txt
index 6d486404200e..ee9a2f983b99 100644
--- a/Documentation/sysctl/kernel.txt
+++ b/Documentation/sysctl/kernel.txt
@@ -33,6 +33,7 @@ show up in /proc/sys/kernel:
- domainname
- hostname
- hotplug
+- kexec_load_disabled
- kptr_restrict
- kstack_depth_to_print [ X86 only ]
- l2cr [ PPC only ]
@@ -287,6 +288,18 @@ Default value is "/sbin/hotplug".
+A toggle indicating if the kexec_load syscall has been disabled. This
+value defaults to 0 (false: kexec_load enabled), but can be set to 1
+(true: kexec_load disabled). Once true, kexec can no longer be used, and
+the toggle cannot be set back to false. This allows a kexec image to be
+loaded before disabling the syscall, allowing a system to set up (and
+later use) an image without it being altered. Generally used together
+with the "modules_disabled" sysctl.
This toggle indicates whether restrictions are placed on
@@ -331,7 +344,7 @@ A toggle value indicating if modules are allowed to be loaded
in an otherwise modular kernel. This toggle defaults to off
(0), but can be set true (1). Once true, modules can be
neither loaded nor unloaded, and the toggle cannot be set back
-to false.
+to false. Generally used with the "kexec_load_disabled" toggle.

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