fanotify and LSM path hooks

Amir Goldstein amir73il at
Sun Apr 14 16:04:14 UTC 2019

Hi Jan,

I started to look at directory pre-modification "permission" hooks
that were discussed on last year's LSFMM:

The two existing fanotify_perm() hooks are called
from security_file_permission() and security_file_open()
and depend on build time CONFIG_SECURITY.
If you look at how the fsnotify_perm() hooks are planted inside the
generic security hooks, one might wonder, why are fanotify permission
hooks getting a special treatment and are not registering as LSM hooks?

One benefit from an fanotify LSM, besides more generic code, would be
that fanotify permission hooks could be disabled with boot parameters.

I only bring this up because security hooks seems like the most natural
place to add pre-modify fanotify events for the purpose of maintaining
a filesystem change journal. It would be ugly to spray more fsnotify hooks
inside security hooks instead of registering an fanotify LSM, but maybe
there are downsides of registering fanotify as LSM that I am not aware of?

Another observation relates to the security_path_ hooks.
Let's take rename as an example.
LSM could implement security_path_rename() and/or security_inode_rename()
hooks and rename syscalls will end up calling both hooks.
The security_path_ hooks are more attractive for fanotify, because the path
information could be used to setup pre-modification permission mask on
mount marks and not only on filesystem/inode marks.

One problem with security_path_ hooks is that they require an extra
Another problem is that they seem to be bypassed by several subsystems.
cachefiles, ecryptfs, overlayfs and nfsd all call the vfs_rename() helper, but
only cachefiles bothers to call the security_path_rename() hook.
This is of course true for all other security_path_ hooks.
I think that is something that requires fixing regardless of the fanotify pre
modification hooks. I wonder if tomoyo and apparmor developers
(LSM that implement security_path_ hooks) are aware of those missing

Would love to get feedback about whether or not fanotify LSM sounds
like a good or bad idea and about the security_path_ hooks questions.


More information about the Linux-security-module-archive mailing list