Overview of NSA Security Enhanced Linux - FOSS.IN/2005

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Published on June 30, 2009

Author: jamesmorris

Source: slideshare.net

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Overview of NSA Security Enhanced Linux - FOSS.IN/2005

Presentation given in Bangalore, India.

Overview of NSA Security Enhanced Linux James Morris jmorris@namei.org FOSS.IN/2005 Bangalore, India

What is SELinux? ● Fine­grained Mandatory Access Control (MAC) ● Strongly separated domains ● Provides confinement of: ● malicious code ● flawed code ● user error/intention ● Enforces least privilege ● Protects integrity ● Flexible policy

Discretionary Access Control (DAC)  ● Traditional Unix security model ● DAC is inadequate: – Decisions only based on user identity and ownership – No protection against malicious or flawed software – Each user has complete discretion over own objects – Only two major categories of users: admin and other – Coarse­grained and too much privilege – Unbounded privilege escalation

Mandatory Access Control (MAC) ● “Missing link” of security in general OSs ● Primary features: – Administratively­set security policy – Control over all processes and objects – Decisions based on all security­relevant information

MAC Implementation ● Traditionally inflexible, maps poorly to general case ● More than just Multilevel Security (MLS): – Enforce integrity, least privilege ● Generalized MAC via Type Enforcement (TE) ● Transparent to applications ● Decompose administrator role ● Policy flexibility

SELinux Framework ● Composition of several security models – Role­Based Access Control (RBAC) – Type Enforcement (TE) – Optional Multilevel Security (MLS) ● Separation of mechanism and policy ● Can support further models as required

Type Enforcement (TE) ● Domains for processes, types for objects ● Control access to objects by domains ● Control interactions between domains ● Control entry into domains ● Bind domains to code

Types ● Attributes assigned to objects and domains ● Things of the same type are security­equivalent ● Examples: – httpd_t (apache execution domain) – httpd_log_t (apache log files) – httpd_config_t (apache configuration files) – httpd_sys_content_t (web content)

Type Enforcement Rules ● TE rules defined in policy ● Include object labeling, and access control rules ● Examples: • allow httpd_t httpd_log_t:file  { create ioctl read getattr lock append }; • allow httpd_t httpd_config_t:file { read getattr lock ioctl }; • allow httpd_t httpd_sys_content_t:file { read getattr lock ioctl };

Role Based Access Control (RBAC) ● Roles are attributes assigned to domains, e.g. – sysadm_r – system_r – user_r ● Specifies domains that can be entered by each role ● Specifies roles that are authorized for each user ● Initial domain associated with each user role

Current Status ● Merged into upstream kernel during 2.5 series ● Adopted by several distributions ● Targeted policy for network facing services ● Possibly millions of users ● Basic tools

Current Development ● MLS for production use ● Certifications: LSPP, RBACPP at EAL4+ ● Multi­category Security (MCS) ● Reference policy ● Modular policy

Future Developments & Participation ● Better tools – Policy development and analysis ● High level policy language ● Distributed security management – User management, policy distribution, logging ● Desktop ● Application­level

More Future Developments... ● Networked filesystems ● Hardware security (TPM): – Verified boot – Integrity verification – Remote attestation – Trusted path ● Virtualization ● Cryptographic policy

Resources ● NSA SELinux Pages http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/ ● SELinux for Distributions http://selinux.sourceforge.net/ ● Mailing Lists (see above) ● IRC: irc.freenode.net #selinux ● SELinux Symposium 2006 (Feb/Mar) http://www.selinux­symposium.org/

Acknowledgments ● Much of the source material for these slides was  derived from existing NSA presentations: – http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/info/docs.cfm

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