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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/5] prctl: add PR_ISOLATE_BP process control

On 01/23/2018 06:07 PM, Dominik Brodowski wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 02:07:01PM +0100, Martin Schwidefsky wrote:
>> Add the PR_ISOLATE_BP operation to prctl. The effect of the process
>> control is to make all branch prediction entries created by the execution
>> of the user space code of this task not applicable to kernel code or the
>> code of any other task.
> What is the rationale for requiring a per-process *opt-in* for this added
> protection?
> For KPTI on x86, the exact opposite approach is being discussed (see, e.g.
> ): By
> default, play it safe, with KPTI enabled. But for "trusted" processes, one
> may opt out using prctrl.

FWIW, this is not about KPTI. s390 always has the kernel in a separate address
space. Its only about potential spectre like attacks.
This idea is to be able to isolate in controlled environments, e.g. if you have
only one thread with untrusted code (e.g. jitting remote code). The property of
the branch prediction mode on s390 is that it protects in two ways - against
being attacked but also against being able to attack via the btb.

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