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List Archive: gentoo-security
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To: gentoo-security@g.o
From: "Casey Link" <unnamedrambler@...>
Subject: Re: Kernel Security + KISS
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 01:05:10 -0500
It would probably help if we knew how many people were interested.

I am. +1

Casey

On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 10:16 PM, Eduardo Tongson <propolice@...> wrote:
> Alright how do we proceed to get this team started.
>
>   ed*eonsec
>
>
>
>  On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 6:55 AM, Ned Ludd <solar@g.o> wrote:
>  >
>  >
>  >  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@g.o mailing list
>  >
>  >
>  --
>  gentoo-security@g.o mailing list
>
>
-- 
gentoo-security@g.o mailing list


Replies:
Re: Kernel Security + KISS
-- Juan Pablo Olivera
References:
Kernel Security + KISS
-- Casey Link
Re: Kernel Security + KISS
-- Eduardo Tongson
Re: Kernel Security + KISS
-- Robert Buchholz
Re: Kernel Security + KISS
-- Harlan Lieberman-Berg
Re: Kernel Security + KISS
-- Ned Ludd
Re: Kernel Security + KISS
-- Eduardo Tongson
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Updated Jun 17, 2009

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