Re: Someone help me understand this...?
From: Robert Watson (rwatson_at_freebsd.org)
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2003 12:23:35 -0400 (EDT) To: Jilles Tjoelker <email@example.com>
On Sat, 30 Aug 2003, Jilles Tjoelker wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 28, 2003 at 11:34:09AM -0400, Robert Watson wrote:
> > > > Clearly, unbreaking applications like Diablo by default is desirable. At
> > > > least OpenBSD has similar protections to these turned on by default, and
> > > > possibly other systems as well. As 5.x sees more broad use, we may well
> > > > bump into other cases where applications have similar behavior: they rely
> > > > on no special protections once they've given up privilege. I wonder if
> > > > Diablo can run unmodified on OpenBSD; it could be they don't include
> > > > SIGALRM on the list of "protect against" signals, or it could be that they
> > > > modify Diablo for their environment to use an alternative signaling
> > > > mechanism. Another alternative to this patch would simply be to add
> > > > SIGARLM to the list of acceptable signals to deliver in the
> > > > privilege-change case.
> OpenBSD does not consider a process 'tainted' if it changes credentials
> while running. From the issetugid(2) manpage:
> The status of issetugid() is only affected by execve().
In OpenBSD, two flags are used to represent the credential change notion:
P_SUGIDEXEC, and P_SUGID. issetugid() checks the first of these, but
signal delivery checks P_SUGID. P_SUGIDEXEC is set during execve(). In
FreeBSD, we have a combined notion used by both, since the same
protections generally apply. You can find a comment comparing our use of
P_SUGID to the OpenBSD approach in our issetugid() implementation:
* Note: OpenBSD sets a P_SUGIDEXEC flag set at execve() time,
* we use P_SUGID because we consider changing the owners as
* "tainting" as well.
* This is significant for procs that start as root and "become"
* a user without an exec - programs cannot know *everything*
* that libc *might* have put in their data segment.
Regarding specific signals: inspection of the OpenBSD implementation
reveals that the following signals are permitted in the P_SUGID case,
assuming a reasonable credential match:
In FreeBSD, we permit:
So they permit SIGALRM in addition to the signals we support. In light of
this thread, I think it would be reasonable to add SIGALRM to our list as
> > In most cases, fail-stop is a reasonable behavior for unexpected security
> > behavior from the system, but ignore is likely to shoot you later. :-) I
> > tend to wrap even kill() calls as uid 0 in an assertion check, just to be
> > on the safe side. If nothing else, it helps detect the case where the
> > other process has died, and you're using a stale pid. It's particular
> > useful if the other process has died, the pid has been reused, and it's
> > now owned by another user, which is a real-world case where kill() as a
> > non-0 uid can fail even when you're sure it can't :-).
> This can be avoided by careful programming: do not use SA_NOCLDWAIT and
> don't pass pids to kill() when they have been returned by wait() or
> similar functions. If the process has terminated in between, it's a
> zombie. In that case, FreeBSD probably returns ESRCH but SUSv3 mandates
> returning success (but performing no action).
There's still a race possible here, it just becomes more narrow with
conservative programming. And in the classic use of pids for signalling
(/var/run/foo.pid, or kill -9 pid), these approaches won't help. The only
way to close this sort of race is to have a notion of a unique process
identifier that lasts beyond the lifetime of the process itself -- i.e.,
the ability to return EMYSINCERESTREGRESTS if you try to signal a process
after it has died, and have a guarantee that the handle won't be reused.
Robert N M Watson FreeBSD Core Team, TrustedBSD Projects
firstname.lastname@example.org Network Associates Laboratories
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