[PATCH v8 00/14] Appended signatures support for IMA appraisal

Thiago Jung Bauermann bauerman at linux.ibm.com
Tue Dec 4 23:35:07 UTC 2018

Hello James,

Thanks for you interest in these patches.

James Morris <jmorris at namei.org> writes:

> On Fri, 16 Nov 2018, Thiago Jung Bauermann wrote:
>> On the OpenPOWER platform, secure boot and trusted boot are being
>> implemented using IMA for taking measurements and verifying signatures.
>> Since the kernel image on Power servers is an ELF binary, kernels are
>> signed using the scripts/sign-file tool and thus use the same signature
>> format as signed kernel modules.
>> This patch series adds support in IMA for verifying those signatures.
> Are you saying you use IMA to verify kernels during boot?  From a Linux
> bootloader?

Yes to both. OpenPOWER machines have embedded in their firmware a Linux
kernel and initramfs to use as bootloader, using Petitboot. kexec is
used to load the OS and boot it.

>> It adds flexibility to OpenPOWER secure boot, because it allows it to boot
>> kernels with the signature appended to them as well as kernels where the
>> signature is stored in the IMA extended attribute.
> Just to clarify, with these patches, IMA will be able to verify the
> native form of signed kernel modules?

That wasn't my use case to develop the patches, but I just tested and it

I just had to make a slight modification: there's a whitelist of IMA
hooks that are allowed to use the module signature format (in the
ima_hook_supports_modsig function), and I had to add MODULE_CHECK to it.
The next version of the patches will have this change.

The only difference is that IMA looks for a valid key in the IMA
keyring, while the CONFIG_MODULE_SIG code looks for the module signing
key in the builtin and secondary trusted keyrings.

> i.e. without xattrs at all, and
> this will work with existing signed modules?

No xattrs at all, and yes.

Thiago Jung Bauermann
IBM Linux Technology Center

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