Open Source Security
Welcome at » Security Smackdown

Security Smackdown

Linus Torvalds has stated rather firmly that the LSM hooks will stay in the Linux kernel. I’m often asked by people who are vaguely aware of the issue (why AppArmor isn’t upstream, why customers can’t easily run Dazuko, why IMA isn’t upstream), why Linus hasn’t expressed his opinion on this strongly before. This is at least the third time that he has spoken clearly and decisively on this issue (Kernel Summit 2001 when he originally proposed the LSM interface, Kernel Summit 2006 when he definitively stated that the LSM interface was staying in, and now “Hell f*cking NO! You security people are insane.”). I wish that I could believe that this will be final but I don’t hold out much hope that the situation will actually improve as far as customer ability to choose to run a particular LSM or for the upstream adoption of more LSMs. The strong anti-LSM stance of a few outspoken and brilliant Linux community members has caused a lot of projects to not even bother to consider proposing their LSMs for inclusion. That is a real shame because the careful and critical review LSMs receive when proposed for inclusion is especially critical for security. There is real customer demand and interest for choice in this space and, my spin on Linus lack of metrics rant, no real reason to deny them this choice.

I have lots of thoughts on this debate so I’ll revisit this topic, but for now that is enough. I’m off to go do a little happy dance about this thread.

KernelTrap has a nice article summarizing the debate. http://kerneltrap.org/Linux/Pluggable_Security

Comments are closed.