Another selinux rant
cjdahlin at ncsu.edu
Sun Jan 6 23:46:47 UTC 2008
Andrew Farris wrote:
> Jonathan Underwood wrote:
>> The problem is: setroubleshoot teaches average users that avc denials
>> come about due to bugs in selinux policy. If there was some massive
>> security problem right now on my machine causing avc denials I'd
>> probably react by filing a stack of bug reports. This is the
>> fundamental problem as it stands with SElinux. If it was working, we
>> would be in a situation where the first responce to an avc denial is
>> "OMG there's a security issue with something running on my machine, I
>> must fix that".
> True enough, but that (trusting denials are legitimate breaches) is a
> goal that is not necessarily here yet... while there are still bugs
> being filed in policy you (or 'average users' such as me and most
> rawhide testers) have very little chance of knowing which is which.
> That doesn't mean it is not working... a security problem thats
> generating denials is only a problem per se when you go and disable
> selinux thinking 'its just a bug I can ignore these and let it happen'.
> As long as a bug is filed, and your machine is still enforcing, and
> someone hasn't found a way around the denials, either the policy will
> change or Dan is going to post back to that bug report that what is
> happening is definitely not going to be allowed by policy. Thats when
> you go fishing for your security issue.
Or instead of you going fishing, the bug is recategorized and someone
else comes in to work with you on fixing the real problem (since odds
are we are packaging whatever it is that does have the issue).
> Most people probably just go and disable it, assuming denials were
> from something they were trying to do and a bug prevented them from
> doing it. I think its very important that rawhide testers be using
> selinux though because there is no way to prevent policy bugs from
> getting to release (and the broad userbase from then disabling
> selinux...) otherwise.
I still tell new linux users to disable selinux when they install. Its
just too much to explain to someone who is already in uncomfortable
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