[PATCH 0/8] xen: harden frontends against malicious backends

Marek Marczykowski-Górecki marmarek at invisiblethingslab.com
Fri May 21 20:43:00 AEST 2021

On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 12:02:54PM +0200, Juergen Gross wrote:
> Xen backends of para-virtualized devices can live in dom0 kernel, dom0
> user land, or in a driver domain. This means that a backend might
> reside in a less trusted environment than the Xen core components, so
> a backend should not be able to do harm to a Xen guest (it can still
> mess up I/O data, but it shouldn't be able to e.g. crash a guest by
> other means or cause a privilege escalation in the guest).
> Unfortunately many frontends in the Linux kernel are fully trusting
> their respective backends. This series is starting to fix the most
> important frontends: console, disk and network.
> It was discussed to handle this as a security problem, but the topic
> was discussed in public before, so it isn't a real secret.

Is it based on patches we ship in Qubes[1] and also I've sent here some
years ago[2]? I see a lot of similarities. If not, you may want to
compare them.

[1] https://github.com/QubesOS/qubes-linux-kernel/
[2] https://lists.xenproject.org/archives/html/xen-devel/2018-04/msg02336.html

> Juergen Gross (8):
>   xen: sync include/xen/interface/io/ring.h with Xen's newest version
>   xen/blkfront: read response from backend only once
>   xen/blkfront: don't take local copy of a request from the ring page
>   xen/blkfront: don't trust the backend response data blindly
>   xen/netfront: read response from backend only once
>   xen/netfront: don't read data from request on the ring page
>   xen/netfront: don't trust the backend response data blindly
>   xen/hvc: replace BUG_ON() with negative return value
>  drivers/block/xen-blkfront.c    | 118 +++++++++-----
>  drivers/net/xen-netfront.c      | 184 ++++++++++++++-------
>  drivers/tty/hvc/hvc_xen.c       |  15 +-
>  include/xen/interface/io/ring.h | 278 ++++++++++++++++++--------------
>  4 files changed, 369 insertions(+), 226 deletions(-)
> -- 
> 2.26.2

Best Regards,
Marek Marczykowski-Górecki
Invisible Things Lab
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