Re: [PATCH] Introduce the pkill_on_warn boot parameter

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On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 22:01:33 +0300 Alexander Popov <alex.popov@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On 29.09.2021 21:58, Alexander Popov wrote:
> > Currently, the Linux kernel provides two types of reaction to kernel
> > warnings:
> >  1. Do nothing (by default),
> >  2. Call panic() if panic_on_warn is set. That's a very strong reaction,
> >     so panic_on_warn is usually disabled on production systems.
> > 
> > From a safety point of view, the Linux kernel misses a middle way of
> > handling kernel warnings:
> >  - The kernel should stop the activity that provokes a warning,
> >  - But the kernel should avoid complete denial of service.
> > 
> > From a security point of view, kernel warning messages provide a lot of
> > useful information for attackers. Many GNU/Linux distributions allow
> > unprivileged users to read the kernel log, so attackers use kernel
> > warning infoleak in vulnerability exploits. See the examples:
> >
> >
> > 
> > Let's introduce the pkill_on_warn boot parameter.
> > If this parameter is set, the kernel kills all threads in a process
> > that provoked a kernel warning. This behavior is reasonable from a safety
> > point of view described above. It is also useful for kernel security
> > hardening because the system kills an exploit process that hits a
> > kernel warning.
> > 
> > Signed-off-by: Alexander Popov <alex.popov@xxxxxxxxx>
> This patch was tested using CONFIG_LKDTM.
> The kernel kills a process that performs this:
>   echo WARNING > /sys/kernel/debug/provoke-crash/DIRECT
> If you are fine with this approach, I will prepare a patch adding the
> pkill_on_warn sysctl.

Why do we need a boot parameter?  Isn't a sysctl all we need for this


	if (pkill_on_warn && system_state >= SYSTEM_RUNNING)

- why do we care about system_state?  An explanatory code comment
  seems appropriate.

- do we really want to do this in states > SYSTEM_RUNNING?  If so, why?

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