path: root/kernel/seccomp.c
diff options
authorChristian Brauner <>2019-09-20 10:30:05 +0200
committerKees Cook <>2019-10-10 14:45:51 -0700
commitfb3c5386b382d4097476ce9647260fc89b34afdb (patch)
tree1431db8325110f51320805ae009903c9313d0108 /kernel/seccomp.c
parent223e660bc7638d126a0e4fbace4f33f2895788c4 (diff)
This allows the seccomp notifier to continue a syscall. A positive discussion about this feature was triggered by a post to the ksummit-discuss mailing list (cf. [3]) and took place during KSummit (cf. [1]) and again at the containers/checkpoint-restore micro-conference at Linux Plumbers. Recently we landed seccomp support for SECCOMP_RET_USER_NOTIF (cf. [4]) which enables a process (watchee) to retrieve an fd for its seccomp filter. This fd can then be handed to another (usually more privileged) process (watcher). The watcher will then be able to receive seccomp messages about the syscalls having been performed by the watchee. This feature is heavily used in some userspace workloads. For example, it is currently used to intercept mknod() syscalls in user namespaces aka in containers. The mknod() syscall can be easily filtered based on dev_t. This allows us to only intercept a very specific subset of mknod() syscalls. Furthermore, mknod() is not possible in user namespaces toto coelo and so intercepting and denying syscalls that are not in the whitelist on accident is not a big deal. The watchee won't notice a difference. In contrast to mknod(), a lot of other syscall we intercept (e.g. setxattr()) cannot be easily filtered like mknod() because they have pointer arguments. Additionally, some of them might actually succeed in user namespaces (e.g. setxattr() for all "user.*" xattrs). Since we currently cannot tell seccomp to continue from a user notifier we are stuck with performing all of the syscalls in lieu of the container. This is a huge security liability since it is extremely difficult to correctly assume all of the necessary privileges of the calling task such that the syscall can be successfully emulated without escaping other additional security restrictions (think missing CAP_MKNOD for mknod(), or MS_NODEV on a filesystem etc.). This can be solved by telling seccomp to resume the syscall. One thing that came up in the discussion was the problem that another thread could change the memory after userspace has decided to let the syscall continue which is a well known TOCTOU with seccomp which is present in other ways already. The discussion showed that this feature is already very useful for any syscall without pointer arguments. For any accidentally intercepted non-pointer syscall it is safe to continue. For syscalls with pointer arguments there is a race but for any cautious userspace and the main usec cases the race doesn't matter. The notifier is intended to be used in a scenario where a more privileged watcher supervises the syscalls of lesser privileged watchee to allow it to get around kernel-enforced limitations by performing the syscall for it whenever deemed save by the watcher. Hence, if a user tricks the watcher into allowing a syscall they will either get a deny based on kernel-enforced restrictions later or they will have changed the arguments in such a way that they manage to perform a syscall with arguments that they would've been allowed to do anyway. In general, it is good to point out again, that the notifier fd was not intended to allow userspace to implement a security policy but rather to work around kernel security mechanisms in cases where the watcher knows that a given action is safe to perform. /* References */ [1]: [2]: [3]: [4]: commit 6a21cc50f0c7 ("seccomp: add a return code to trap to userspace") Co-developed-by: Kees Cook <> Signed-off-by: Christian Brauner <> Reviewed-by: Tycho Andersen <> Cc: Andy Lutomirski <> Cc: Will Drewry <> CC: Tyler Hicks <> Link: Signed-off-by: Kees Cook <>
Diffstat (limited to 'kernel/seccomp.c')
1 files changed, 22 insertions, 6 deletions
diff --git a/kernel/seccomp.c b/kernel/seccomp.c
index dba52a7db5e8..12d2227e5786 100644
--- a/kernel/seccomp.c
+++ b/kernel/seccomp.c
@@ -75,6 +75,7 @@ struct seccomp_knotif {
/* The return values, only valid when in SECCOMP_NOTIFY_REPLIED */
int error;
long val;
+ u32 flags;
/* Signals when this has entered SECCOMP_NOTIFY_REPLIED */
struct completion ready;
@@ -732,11 +733,12 @@ static u64 seccomp_next_notify_id(struct seccomp_filter *filter)
return filter->notif->next_id++;
-static void seccomp_do_user_notification(int this_syscall,
- struct seccomp_filter *match,
- const struct seccomp_data *sd)
+static int seccomp_do_user_notification(int this_syscall,
+ struct seccomp_filter *match,
+ const struct seccomp_data *sd)
int err;
+ u32 flags = 0;
long ret = 0;
struct seccomp_knotif n = {};
@@ -764,6 +766,7 @@ static void seccomp_do_user_notification(int this_syscall,
if (err == 0) {
ret = n.val;
err = n.error;
+ flags = n.flags;
@@ -780,8 +783,14 @@ static void seccomp_do_user_notification(int this_syscall,
+ /* Userspace requests to continue the syscall. */
+ return 0;
syscall_set_return_value(current, task_pt_regs(current),
err, ret);
+ return -1;
static int __seccomp_filter(int this_syscall, const struct seccomp_data *sd,
@@ -867,8 +876,10 @@ static int __seccomp_filter(int this_syscall, const struct seccomp_data *sd,
return 0;
- seccomp_do_user_notification(this_syscall, match, sd);
- goto skip;
+ if (seccomp_do_user_notification(this_syscall, match, sd))
+ goto skip;
+ return 0;
seccomp_log(this_syscall, 0, action, true);
@@ -1087,7 +1098,11 @@ static long seccomp_notify_send(struct seccomp_filter *filter,
if (copy_from_user(&resp, buf, sizeof(resp)))
return -EFAULT;
- if (resp.flags)
+ return -EINVAL;
+ if ((resp.flags & SECCOMP_USER_NOTIF_FLAG_CONTINUE) &&
+ (resp.error || resp.val))
return -EINVAL;
ret = mutex_lock_interruptible(&filter->notify_lock);
@@ -1116,6 +1131,7 @@ static long seccomp_notify_send(struct seccomp_filter *filter,
knotif->error = resp.error;
knotif->val = resp.val;
+ knotif->flags = resp.flags;