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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH v2 1/3] ima: extend clone() with IMA namespace support
Stefan Berger <> writes:

> On 03/15/2018 03:20 PM, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
>> Stefan Berger <> writes:
>>> On 03/15/2018 03:01 PM, James Bottomley wrote:
>>>> On Thu, 2018-03-15 at 14:51 -0400, Stefan Berger wrote:
>>>>> On 03/15/2018 02:45 PM, James Bottomley wrote:
>>>> [...]
>>>>>>>> going to need some type of keyring namespace and there's
>>>>>>>> already
>>>>>>>> one hanging off the user_ns:
>>>>>>>> commit f36f8c75ae2e7d4da34f4c908cebdb4aa42c977e
>>>>>>>> Author: David Howells <>
>>>>>>>> Date: Tue Sep 24 10:35:19 2013 +0100
>>>>>>>> KEYS: Add per-user_namespace registers for persistent
>>>>>>>> per-UID
>>>>>>>> kerberos caches
>>>>>>> The benefit for IMA would be that this would then tie the keys
>>>>>>> needed for appraising to the IMA namespace's policy.
>>>>>>> However, if you have an appraise policy in your IMA namespace,
>>>>>>> which is now hooked to the user namespace, and you join that user
>>>>>>> namespace but your files don't have signatures, nothing will
>>>>>>> execute anymore. That's now a side effect of joining this user
>>>>>>> namespace unless we have a magic exception. My feeling is,
>>>>>>> people may not like that...
>>>>>> Agree, but I think the magic might be to populate the ima keyring
>>>>>> with the parent on user_ns creation. That way the user_ns owner
>>>>>> can delete the parent keys if they don't like them, but by default
>>>>>> the parent appraisal policy should just work.
>>>>> That may add keys to your keyring but doesn't get you signatures on
>>>>> your files.
>>>> But it doesn't need to. The only way we'd get a failure is if the file
>>>> is already being appraised and we lose access to the key. If the
>>> Well, the configuration I talked about above was assuming that we have
>>> an appraisal policy active in the IMA namespace, which is now tied to
>>> the user namespace that was just joined.
>>> If we are fine with the side effects of an IMA policy active as part
>>> of a user namespace then let's go with it. The side effects in case of
>>> an active IMA appraisal may then be that files cannot be
>>> read/accessed, or file measurements or IMA auditing may occur.
>>> The alternative is we have an independent IMA namespace. If one joins
>>> the USER namespace and there are no IMA-related side effects. If one
>>> joins the IMA namespace its IMA policy should start being enforced. If
>>> the current active USER namespace has the keys that go with the
>>> signatures of the filesystem, then we're fine from the appraisal
>>> perspective. If not, then IMA namespace joining may prevent file
>>> accesses.
>>>> parent policy isn't appraisal, entering the IMA NS won't cause
>>> Why parent policy? The policy of the namespace that was joined should
>>> be the active one, no ?
>> Unless I am completely blind we should never stop enforcing the parent's
>> polciy. We should only add policy to enforce for the scope of a
>> container.
> What we want is an independent policy for each IMA namespace.
> What we don't want is that root can abuse his power to spawn new namespaces and
> circumvent a file appraisal policy on the host (in init_ima_ns). Because of that
> root's activities are subject to the IMA policy of the currently active IMA
> namespace and the one of init_ima_ns (and possibly all the ones in between). If
> root is working in a child IMA namespace and file appraisal fails due to the
> policy in init_ima_ns and keys found in .ima or _ima keyrings attached to
> init_user_ns, the file access will be denied.
> Besides that root's activities will always be measured and audited following the
> policy in init_ima_ns. This tries to prevent that root spawns an IMA namespace
> with a NULL policy and does things in the TCB and tries to escape the
> logging.

That sounds exactly like my definition of hierarchical namespace

And please keep in mind that everyone is allowed to use CLONE_NEWNS now.
You just have to spawn a new user namespace first so you have the caps.

>> In practice this is just the containers policy as the container is most
>> likely a do whatever you want to in the parent policy. But not always
>> and not explicitly.
>> Mount namespaces are not hierarchical, user namespaces are. Which makes
>> them much more appropriate for being part of nested policy enforcement.
> We don't want additive or hierarchical policies - at least I don't. They should
> be independent. Only exception are activities of root that are always
> iteratively evaluated against policies of the current IMA NS and the init_ima_ns
> and possibly all the ones in between.

I believe that is what I meant by a nested/hiearchical policy

>> From previous conversations I remember that there is a legitimate
>> bootstrap problem for IMA. That needs to be looked at, and I am not
>> seeing that mentioned.
> IMA's log should not have a gap. So ideally we shouldn't have to write something
> into sysfs to spawn a new IMA namespace so that we don't miss whatever setup may
> have happened to get there, including the writing into procfs. IMA should be
> there right from the start. So a clone flag would be ideal for that.

Please make that securityfs not sysfs. Sysfs should be about the
hardware not these higher level software details. I really don't want
to have to namespace sysfs more than I already have.

As for the no gaps requirement. That is a powerful lever for ruling out
solutions that don't work as well.


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