Michael, Tom,

* Michael Paquier (michael.paqu...@gmail.com) wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM, Tom Lane <t...@sss.pgh.pa.us> wrote:
> > Stephen Frost <sfr...@snowman.net> writes:
> >> I'm guessing no, which essentially means that *we* consider access to
> >> lo_import/lo_export to be equivilant to superuser and therefore we're
> >> not going to implement anything to try and prevent the user who has
> >> access to those functions from becoming superuser.  If we aren't willing
> >> to do that, then how can we really say that there's some difference
> >> between access to these functions and being a superuser?
> >
> > We seem to be talking past each other.  Yes, if a user has malicious
> > intentions, it's possibly to parlay lo_export into obtaining a superuser
> > login (I'm less sure that that's necessarily true for lo_import).
> > That does NOT make it "equivalent", except perhaps in the view of someone
> > who is only considering blocking malevolent actors.  It does not mean that
> > there's no value in preventing a task that needs to run lo_export from
> > being able to accidentally destroy any data in the database.  There's a
> > range of situations where you are concerned about accidents and errors,
> > not malicious intent; but your argument ignores those use-cases.
> That will not sound much as a surprise as I spawned the original
> thread, but like Robert I understand that getting rid of all superuser
> checks is a goal that we are trying to reach to allow admins to have
> more flexibility in handling permissions to a subset of objects.
> Forcing an admin to give full superuser rights to one user willing to
> work only on LOs import and export is a wrong concept.

The problem I have with this is that 'full superuser rights' actually
are being granted by this.  You're able to read any file and write any
file on the filesystem that the PG OS user can.  How is that not 'full
superuser rights'?  The concerns about a mistake being made are just as
serious as they are with someone who has superuser rights as someone
could pretty easily end up overwriting the control file or various other
extremely important bits of the system.  This isn't just about what
'blackhats' can do with this.

As I mentioned up-thread, if we want to make it so that non-superusers
can use lo_import/lo_export, then we should do that in a way that
allows the administrator to specify exactly the rights they really want
to give, based on a use-case for them.  There's no use-case for allowing
someone to use lo_export() to overwrite pg_control.  The use-case would
be to allow them to export to a specific directory (or perhaps a set of
directories), or to read from same.  The same is true of COPY.  Further,
I wonder what would happen if we allow this and then someone comes along
and re-proposes the 'CREATE DIRECTORY' concept that I had once proposed
(ideally with things cleaned up and tightened up to avoid there being
issues using it) to address the actual use-case for these functions to
be available to a non-superuser.  We wouldn't be able to change these
functions to start checking the 'directory' rights or we would break
existing non-superuser usage of them.  I imagine we could create
additional functions which check the 'directory' privileges, but that's
hardly ideal, imv.

I'm disappointed to apparently be in the minority on this, but that
seems to be the case unless someone else wishes to comment.  While I
appreciate the discussion, I'm certainly no more convinced today than I
was when I first saw this go in that allowing these functions to be
granted to non-superusers does anything but effectively make them into
superusers who aren't explicitly identified as superusers.



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