Gentoo Archives: gentoo-security

From: Ned Ludd <solar@g.o>
To: gentoo-security@l.g.o
Cc: Donnie Berkholz <dberkholz@g.o>
Subject: Re: [gentoo-security] Kernel Security + KISS
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 22:56:30
Message-Id: 1203548143.26804.29.camel@media
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-security] Kernel Security + KISS by Harlan Lieberman-Berg
On Wed, 2008-02-20 at 13:59 -0500, Harlan Lieberman-Berg wrote:
> On Sunday 17 February 2008 23:12:35 Robert Buchholz wrote: > > On Sunday, 17. February 2008, Eduardo Tongson wrote: > > > What specific kernel knowledge is needed to get a Kernel advisory up > > > and running ? > > > > Between becoming aware of a vulnerability in Linux and drafting an advisory > > for one or all kernel sources comes the part where you review which > > versions of which kernel sources are affected and unaffected. You also > > need to pay attention to specifics of the added patchsets, which might > > duplicate vulnerabilities. > > > > Parts of the job can indeed be done without Kernel and C knowledge, but > > some cannot. So if we draft a new kernel security *team*, people without C > > and kernel knowledge are helpful -- some others need to have it, though. > > > > Robert > > To be honest, 99% of what is done in the kernel security team can be done with > no C knowledge at all. > > I'm not an expert C person - far from it - but I eventually became the head of > Kernel Security until I retired a few months ago. > > Most of it is bug handling. The major problem is a social, not a technical > one. Because of the manner in which our kernels are organized, a single > vulnerability involves checking upstream version numbers, coordinating them > into our downstream version numbers for all sources, checking to see if the > sources are effected, figuring out who to CC for the bugs, then harassing > them until they do it. > > Unlike other security sources, any attempt to hardmask the package is shutdown > instantly. The chaos that would result from a kernel hardmask, even one of > the lesser used ones, caused me to only successfully order one over my entire > career in Gentoo Kernsec... even though more around 30 would have been > needed. It is not infrequently that bugs will last six months without any > action coming about them, and users are blissfully unaware. > > I am happy to give my input as the former head of Kernel Security, but it is > my personal opinion that any advances in kernel security will require the > full cooperation of security, and letting the head of kernel security be able > to actually enforce threats, as that seems to be the only way bugs ever get > resolved. Pleading didn't work - I tried. > > -Harlan Lieberman-Berg > Gentoo Developer Emeritus
Every word of what you said is painfully true. The only way to accomplish this would be with an Iron Fist(fail) or a team of ~15 guys who do nothing but patch and push new kernels and the PR that goes along with them every few days. -- Ned Ludd <solar@g.o> -- gentoo-security@l.g.o mailing list

Replies

Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-security] Kernel Security + KISS Eduardo Tongson <propolice@×××××.com>