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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/3] binfmt_elf: Verify signature of signed elf binary
On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 10:37:01AM -0500, Mimi Zohar wrote:
> On Tue, 2013-01-15 at 16:34 -0500, Vivek Goyal wrote:
> > If a binary is signed, verify its signature. If signature is not valid, do
> > not allow execution. If binary is not signed, execution is allowed
> > unconditionally.
> >
> > CONFIG_BINFMT_ELF_SIGNATURE controls whether elf binary signature support
> > is compiled in or not.
> >
> > Signature are expected to be present in elf section ".section". This code
> > is written along the lines of module signature verification code. Just
> > that I have removed the magic string. It is not needed as signature is
> > expected to be present in a specific section.
> Right, it's written along the lines of the original module signature
> verification code, where the signature was in the ELF header, not the
> version that was upstreamed, where the signature was appended.
> > I put the signature into a section, instead of appending it so that
> > strip operation works fine.
> Wouldn't the original reasons for not embedding the signature in the ELF
> header for modules apply here too?

I think rusty wanted to append signatures. He thought it is much easier.
Adding a .signature section makes life easier for user space tools. One
can strip files even after signing.

Not that I am married to the idea of putting signature in a section. Just
that it sounded reasonable enough to do for an RFC. So if appending
signature proves to be better, it is easy to implement that.
> > One signs and verifies all the areas mapped by PT_LOAD segments of elf
> > binary. Typically Elf header is mapped in first PT_LOAD segment. As adding
> > .signature section can change three elf header fields (e_shoff, e_shnum
> > and e_shstrndx), these fields are excluded from digest calculation
> >
> > Signed-off-by: Vivek Goyal <>
> At this point, why would you want yet another method for signing files?

Are you saying that append signature instead of putting them in a section
or are you saying that just use IMA.

- For the first, I am fine with appending too if that works better. So
what's wrong with current implementation. Just because we append the
signatures in case of modules, we should follow the same thing for
executables too?

- If above comment is w.r.t use of IMA, then I have no issues in using
IMA as long as it can meet all the requirements. Looks like there is
a long TODO list before we get there. In fact for some things its not
even clear whether they fit in IMA or somehwere else.

- Make sure IMA/EVM stuff chains into secureboot chain of trust.

- Sort out all the memory locking related issues I mentioned in
other mail. You seemed to be of opinion that it is out of scope
for IMA, but I think it probably is nice extenstion.

Or somehow a way needs to be found to make sure nobody can modify
process address space without processe's knowledge.

- Once all this works, then one needs to figure out all the RPM stuff
and plugins to make sure files can be singed on build server and
installed properly on target system.


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