This is an archived copy of the Xen.org mailing list, which we have preserved to ensure that existing links to archives are not broken. The live archive, which contains the latest emails, can be found at http://lists.xen.org/
Home Products Support Community News


Re: [Xen-devel] Is Xen affected by this x86 hardware security hole?

To: "Ian Pratt" <m+Ian.Pratt@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-devel] Is Xen affected by this x86 hardware security hole?
From: Mark Williamson <mark.williamson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 2 May 2006 15:02:51 +0100
Cc: xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Dave Feustel <dfeustel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Delivery-date: Tue, 02 May 2006 07:05:48 -0700
Envelope-to: www-data@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
In-reply-to: <A95E2296287EAD4EB592B5DEEFCE0E9D4BA538@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
List-help: <mailto:xen-devel-request@lists.xensource.com?subject=help>
List-id: Xen developer discussion <xen-devel.lists.xensource.com>
List-post: <mailto:xen-devel@lists.xensource.com>
List-subscribe: <http://lists.xensource.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/xen-devel>, <mailto:xen-devel-request@lists.xensource.com?subject=subscribe>
List-unsubscribe: <http://lists.xensource.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/xen-devel>, <mailto:xen-devel-request@lists.xensource.com?subject=unsubscribe>
References: <A95E2296287EAD4EB592B5DEEFCE0E9D4BA538@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sender: xen-devel-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
User-agent: KMail/1.9.1
> > A better solution would be to have a kernel module that
> > provides services to the X server, but this would require
> > more code per platform, which is partly why it wasn't done
> > like this...  *sigh*
> Isn't this what the kernel /dev/fbdev driver does?
> If you're running an fbdev Xserver you shouldn't need to give the
> Xserver io or mmio permissions.

Yes, I think that's the idea behind it.  Does anyone know if it works in the 
general case, or only for specific graphics cards / specific display modes?  
I've not used it myself.

The real problem is that X servers can generally call iopl() / ioperm() and 
thus get access to stupid things.  Deprivileging the process (or preferably 
terminating the existence of those syscalls with extreme prejudice) is really 
the right fix.

That said, they can usually only call those things because they're root, and 
if they're root a root exploit doesn't seem so bad *shrug*?  Does anyone 
actually use fine grained access control for X servers in modern distros?


Dave: Just a question. What use is a unicyle with no seat?  And no pedals!
Mark: To answer a question with a question: What use is a skateboard?
Dave: Skateboards have wheels.
Mark: My wheel has a wheel!

Xen-devel mailing list