On 02/04/2015 06:57 AM, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 04, 2015 at 11:58:03AM +0100, Thierry Carrez wrote:
>> What solutions do we have ?
>> (1) we could get our act together and audit and fix those filter
>> definitions. Remove superfluous usage of root rights, make use of
>> advanced filters for where we actually need them. We have been preaching
>> for that at many many design summits. This is a lot of work though...
>> There were such efforts in the past, but they were never completed for
>> some types of nodes. Worse, the bad filter definitions kept coming back,
>> since developers take shortcuts, reviewers may not have sufficient
>> security awareness to detect crappy filter definitions, and I don't
>> think we can design a gate test that would have such awareness.
>> (2) bite the bullet and accept that some types of nodes actually need
>> root rights for so many different things, they should just run as root
>> anyway. I know a few distributions which won't be very pleased by such a
>> prospect, but that would be a more honest approach (rather than claiming
>> we provide efficient isolation when we really don't). An added benefit
>> is that we could replace a number of shell calls by Python code, which
>> would simplify the code and increase performance.
>> (3) intermediary solution where we would run as the nova user but run
>> sudo COMMAND directly (instead of sudo nova-rootwrap CONFIG COMMAND).
>> That would leave it up to distros to choose between a blanket sudoer or
>> maintain their own filtering rules. I think it's a bit hypocritical
>> though (pretend the distros could filter if they wanted it, when we
>> dropped the towel on doing that ourselves). I'm also not convinced it's
>> more secure than solution 2, and it prevents from reducing the number of
>> shell-outs, which I think is a worthy idea.
>> In all cases I would not drop the baby with the bath water, and keep
>> rootwrap for all the cases where root rights are needed on a very
>> specific set of commands (like neutron, or nova's api-metadata). The
>> daemon mode should address the performance issue for the projects making
>> a lot of calls.
> (4) I think that ultimately we need to ditch rootwrap and provide a proper
> privilege separated, formal RPC mechanism for each project.
> eg instead of having a rootwrap command, or rootwrap server attempting
> to validate safety of
>     qemu-img create -f qcow2 /var/lib/nova/instances/instance00001/disk.qcow2
> we should have a  nova-compute-worker daemon running as root, that accepts
> an RPC command from nova-compute running unprivileged. eg
>     CreateImage("instane0001", "qcow2", "disk.qcow")
> This immediately makes it trivial to validate that we're not trying to
> trick qemu-img into overwriting some key system file.
> This is certainly alot more work than trying to patchup rootwrap, but
> it would provide a level of security that rootwrap can never achieve IMHO.

This 4th idea sounds interesting, though we are assuming this new service
running as root would be exempt of bug, especially if it uses the same
libraries as non-root services... For example a major bug in python would
give attacker direct root access while the rootwrap solution would in
theory keep the intruder at the sudo level...

For completeness, I'd like to propose a more long-term solution:

(5) Get ride of root! Seriously, OpenStack could support security mechanism
like SELinux or AppArmor in order to properly isolate service and let them
run what they need to run.

For what it worth, the underlying issue here is having a single almighty super
user: root and thus we should, at least, consider solution that remove the
need of such powers (e.g. kernel module loading, ptrace or raw socket).

Beside, as long as sensitive process are not contained at the system level,
the attack surface for a non-root user is still very wide (e.g. system calls,
setuid binaries, ipc, ...)

While this might sounds impossible to implement upstream because it's too
vendor specific or just because of other technicals difficulties,
I guess it still deserves a mention in this thread.

Best regards,

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