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SubjectRe: overlayfs access checks on underlying layers
On 11/29/18 4:03 PM, Stephen Smalley wrote:
> On 11/29/18 2:47 PM, Miklos Szeredi wrote:
>> On Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 5:14 PM Stephen Smalley <>
>> wrote:
>>> Possibly I misunderstood you, but I don't think we want to copy-up on
>>> permission denial, as that would still allow the mounter to read/write
>>> special files or execute regular files to which it would normally be
>>> denied access, because the copy would inherit the context specified by
>>> the mounter in the context mount case.  It still represents an
>>> escalation of privilege for the mounter.  In contrast, the copy-up on
>>> write behavior does not allow the mounter to do anything it could not do
>>> already (i.e. read from the lower, write to the upper).
>> Let's get this straight:  when file is copied up, it inherits label
>> from context=, not from label of lower file?
> That's correct.  The overlay inodes are all assigned the label from the
> context= mount option, and so are any upper inodes created through the
> overlay.  At least that's my understanding of how it is supposed to
> work.  The original use case was for containers with the lower dir
> labeled with a context that is read-only to the container context and
> using a context that is writable by the container context for the
> context= mount.
>> Next question: permission to change metadata is tied to permission to
>> open?  Is it possible that open is denied, but metadata can be
>> changed?
> There is no metadata change occurring here. The overlay, upper, and
> lower inodes all keep their labels intact for their lifetime (both
> overlay and upper always have the context= label; upper has whatever its

> original label was), unless explicitly relabeled by some process.  And
> when viewed through the overlay, the file always has the label specified
> via context=, even before the copy-up.
>> DAC model allows this: metadata change is tied to ownership, not mode
>> bits.   And different capability flag.
>> If the same is true for MAC, then the pre-v4.20-rc1 is already
>> susceptible to the privilege escalation you describe, right?
> Actually, I guess there wouldn't be a privilege escalation if you
> checked the mounter's ability to create the new file upon copy-up, and
> checked the mounter's access to the upper inode label upon the
> subsequent read, write, or execute access.  Then we'd typically block
> the ability to create the device file and we'd block the ability to
> execute files with the label from context=.
> But copy-up of special files seems undesirable for other reasons (e.g.
> requiring mounters to be allowed to create device nodes just to permit
> client's to read/write them, possible implications for nodev/noexec,
> implications for socket and fifo files).

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