Re: Creating executable device nodes in /dev?

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On Wed, Dec 09, 2020 at 02:15:28AM +0200, Jarkko Sakkinen wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 09, 2020 at 01:15:27AM +0200, Topi Miettinen wrote:
> > > > > As  a further argument, I just did this on a Fedora system:
> > > > > $ find /dev -perm /ugo+x -a \! -type d -a \! -type l
> > > > > No results.  So making /dev noexec doesn't seem to have any benefit.
> > > > 
> > > > It's no surprise that there aren't any executables in /dev since
> > > > removing MAKEDEV ages ago. That's not the issue, which is that
> > > > /dev is a writable directory (for UID=0 but no capabilities are
> > > > needed) and thus a potential location for constructing unapproved
> > > > executables if it is also mounted exec (W^X).
> > > 
> > > UID 0 can just change mount options, though, unless SELinux or similar is used. And SELinux can protect /dev just fine without noexec.
> > 
> > Well, mounting would need CAP_SYS_ADMIN in addition to UID 0. Also SELinux
> > is not universal and the policies might not contain all users or services.
> > 
> > -Topi
> What's the data that supports having noexec /dev anyway? With root
> access I can then just use something else like /dev/shm mount.
> Has there been out in the wild real world cases that noexec mount
> of would have prevented?

Typo: "of" = "of /dev"

> For me this sounds a lot just something that "feels more secure"
> without any measurable benefit. Can you prove me wrong?

The debate is circled around something not well defined. Of course you
get theoretically more safe system when you decrease priviliges anywhere
in the system. Like you could start do grazy things with stuff that
unprivilged user has access, in order to prevent malware to elevate to
UID 0 in the first place.

I think where this go intellectually wrong is that we are talking about
*default installation* of a distribution. That should have somewhat sane
common sense access control settings. For like a normal desktop user
noexec /dev will not do any possible favor.

Then there is the case when you want to harden installation for an
application, let's' say some server. In that case you will anyway
fine-tune the security settings and go grazy enough with hardening.
When you tailor a server, it's a standard practice to enumerate and
adjust the mount points if needed.

To summarize, I neither understand the intended target audience.


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