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SubjectRe: [PATCH 10/16] arm64: Make KPTI strict CPU local feature
On Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 03:46:59PM +0000, Suzuki K Poulose wrote:
> On 26/01/18 12:25, Dave Martin wrote:
> >On Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 12:28:03PM +0000, Suzuki K Poulose wrote:
> >>KPTI capability is a security feature which should be enabled
> >>when at least one CPU on the system needs it. Any late CPU
> >>which needs the kernel support, should be prevented from
> >>booting (and thus making the system unsecure) if the feature
> >>was not already enabled.
> >
> >Is there an actual change to behaviour here?
> Yes, we now prevent any new CPU from booting if it *matches* the capability,
> which we didn't do earlier.


> >
> >It's not very obvious from the commit message, or the patch when read in
> >isolation.
> >
> I will fix the commit message to indicate the current behavior. How about :
> "KPTI is treated as a system wide feature, where we enable the feature
> when all the CPUs on the system suffers from the security vulnerability,
> unless it is enabled via kernel command line. Also, we ignore a late CPU

Maybe "enabled" -> "forcibly enabled", if the command-line really is
supposed to have override semantics (which I guess it is).

> which might need the defense if the KPTI is not enabled, making the system
> insecure. This is not sufficient, as
> we should enable the defense when at least one CPU needs it. Also, if
> it is not enabled at boot-time, we can no longer enable it when a late
> CPU turns up. This patch makes sure that the KPTI is checked on all CPUs

There's some repetition here. Does the following work:

"[...] command line. Also, if a late CPU needs KPTI but KPTI was not
enabled at boot time, the CPU is currently allowed to boot, which is a
potential security vulnerability. This patch ensures that late CPUs
are rejected as appropriate if they need KPTI but it wasn't enabled."

Hmmm. That's no shorter after all. Oh well :P


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