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SubjectRe: Avoid speculative indirect calls in kernel
On Fri, Jan 05, 2018 at 01:54:13AM +0100, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
> On Thu, 4 Jan 2018, Jon Masters wrote:
> > P.S. I've an internal document where I've been tracking "nice to haves"
> > for later, and one of them is whether it makes sense to tag binaries as
> > "trusted" (e.g. extended attribute, label, whatever). It was something I
> > wanted to bring up at some point as potentially worth considering.
>
> Scratch that. There is no such thing as a trusted binary.

I disagree with you on this Thomas. "trusted" means "we agree to share the
risk this binary takes because it's critical to our service". When you
build a load balancing appliance on which 100% of the service is assured
by a single executable and the rest is just config management, you'd better
trust that process. If the binary or process cannot be trusted, the product
is dead anyway. It doesn't mean the binary is safe. It just means that for
the product there's nothing worse than its compromission or failure. And
when it suffers from the performance impact of workarounds supposed to
protect the whole device against this process' possible abuses, you
easily see how the situation becomes ridiculous.

We need to still think about performance a lot. There's already an ongoing
trend of kernel bypass mechanisms in the wild for performance reasons, and
the new increase of syscall costs will necessarily amplify this willingness
to avoid the kernel. I personally don't want to see the kernel being reduced
to booting and executing SSH to manage the machines.

Willy

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