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RE: [Xen-devel] [PATCH 1/3] Add support for OpenBSD

  • To: "Brendan Cully" <brendan@xxxxxxxxx>, <xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: "Ian Pratt" <m+Ian.Pratt@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 19:13:46 +0100
  • Delivery-date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 11:14:35 -0700
  • List-id: Xen developer discussion <xen-devel.lists.xensource.com>
  • Thread-index: Acby3a/aDECZmedvR5m/sMv8xcP5FwAAXysg
  • Thread-topic: [Xen-devel] [PATCH 1/3] Add support for OpenBSD

> > I don't think stack-smashing attacks are a worrying vulnerability
> Xen.
> > We don't do much variable-sized buffer manipulation, strcpy, and so
> I'd
> > much rather see someone put some effort into something more likely
to be
> > useful (albeit undoubtedly more work!) like randomised attacks on
> > hypercall interfaces.
> I built something to do that for a course project a few months ago -
> basically a kernel module to pass along completely unchecked
> hypercalls, generated by a python script with a few hooks to filter
> out those that it knew Xen would catch anyway. It even managed to
> crash xen periodically, but I never quite finished the piece that was
> supposed to reproduce crashes after they happened. I guess I should
> clean it up and post it somewhere...

That would certainly be helpful -- thanks!
I suspect you could get the most mileage with this by saving the domain,
then having a loop that restores it and kicks off the test with a
different seed. This should enable much faster cycling than having to
boot the VM every time Xen decides to terminate it for misbehaving. 

Many of the more complex situations come about by having complex
pagetable structures etc that are almost valid but have subtle bugs.
Generating these scenarios by hand is going to be tough. I think that
possibly fault injection is the best way of handling these, perhaps
having a special guest kernel module that runs off the ticker and tries
to do interesting corruptions to pagetables. We could also arrange to
corrupt hypercall arguments one time in a thousand or something.

It would be *great* if someone could work at this sort of testing. It
may not sexy as some of the other security work that's going on, but
would be incredibly valuable to the project. Please could someone step


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