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Re: [dm-devel] dm-integrity: integrity protection device-mapper target




On Fri, 18 Jan 2013, Kasatkin, Dmitry wrote:

> Hi Mikulas,
> 
> Thanks for looking into it.
> 
> On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 6:54 AM, Mikulas Patocka <mpatocka redhat com> wrote:
> > Hi Dmitry
> >
> > I looked at dm-integrity. The major problem is that if crash happens when
> > data were written and checksum wasn't, the block has incorrect checksum
> > and can't be read again.
> >
> 
> This is how it works.
> This is a purpose of integrity protection - do not allow "bad" content
> to load and use.
> 
> But even with encryption it might happen that some blocks have been
> updated and some not.
> Even if  reading the blocks succeeds, the content can be a mess from
> old and new blocks.

dm-crypt encrypts each 512-byte sector individually, so (assuming that 
there is no disk with sector size <512 bytes), it can't result in random 
data. You read either new data or old data.

> This patch I sent out has one missing feature what I have not pushed yet.
> In the case of none-matching blocks, it just zeros blocks and returns
> no error (zero-on-mismatch).
> Writing to the block replaces the hmac.
> It works quite nicely. mkfs and fsck is able to read and write/fix the
> filesystem.

But it causes silent data corruption for the user. So it's worse than 
returning an error.

> > How is this integrity target going to be used? Will you use it in an
> > environment where destroying data on crash doesn't matter? (can you
> > describe such environment?)
> >
> 
> We are looking for possibility to use it in LSM based environment,
> where we do not want
> attacker could make offline modification of the filesystem and modify
> the TCB related stuff.

What are the exact attach attack possibilities you are protecting against?

Can the attacker observe or modify the data while system is running? (for 
example the data is accessed remotely over an unsecured network 
connection?) Or is it only protecting against modifications when the 
system is down?

Can the attacker modify the partition with hashes? - or do you store it in 
another place that is supposed to be secure?

What are you going to do if you get failed checksum because of a crash?

> > It could possibly be used with ext3 or ext4 with data=journal mode - in
> > this mode, the filesystem writes everything to journal and overwrites data
> > and metadata with copy from journal on reboot, so it wouldn't matter if a
> > block that was being written is unreadable after the reboot. But even with
> > data=journal there are still some corner cases where metadata are
> > overwritten without journaling (for example fsck or tune2fs utilities) -
> > and if a crash happens, it could make metadata unreadable.
> >
> 
> In normal environment, if fsck crashes, it might corrupt file system
> in the same way.
> zero-on-mismatch makes block device still accessible/fixable for fsck.

The problem is that it apmplifies filesystem damage. For example, suppose 
that fsck is modifying an inode. You get a crash and on next reboot not 
just one inode, but the whole block of inodes is unreadable (or replaced 
with zeros). Fsck "fixes" it, but the user loses more files.


I am thinking about possibly rewriting it so that it has two hashes per 
sector so that if either old or new data is read, at least one hash 
matches and it won't result in data corruption.

Mikulas


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