[3.13.y.z extended stable] Patch "CAPABILITIES: remove undefined caps from all processes" has been added to staging queue

Kamal Mostafa kamal at canonical.com
Mon Sep 15 22:07:42 UTC 2014

This is a note to let you know that I have just added a patch titled

    CAPABILITIES: remove undefined caps from all processes

to the linux-3.13.y-queue branch of the 3.13.y.z extended stable tree 
which can be found at:


This patch is scheduled to be released in version

If you, or anyone else, feels it should not be added to this tree, please 
reply to this email.

For more information about the 3.13.y.z tree, see



>From b852245c9bc0deb6fd8d4280e2c58ef697c1a87e Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Eric Paris <eparis at redhat.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:36:26 -0400
Subject: CAPABILITIES: remove undefined caps from all processes

commit 7d8b6c63751cfbbe5eef81a48c22978b3407a3ad upstream.

This is effectively a revert of 7b9a7ec565505699f503b4fcf61500dceb36e744
plus fixing it a different way...

We found, when trying to run an application from an application which
had dropped privs that the kernel does security checks on undefined
capability bits.  This was ESPECIALLY difficult to debug as those
undefined bits are hidden from /proc/$PID/status.

Consider a root application which drops all capabilities from ALL 4
capability sets.  We assume, since the application is going to set
eff/perm/inh from an array that it will clear not only the defined caps
less than CAP_LAST_CAP, but also the higher 28ish bits which are
undefined future capabilities.

The BSET gets cleared differently.  Instead it is cleared one bit at a
time.  The problem here is that in security/commoncap.c::cap_task_prctl()
we actually check the validity of a capability being read.  So any task
which attempts to 'read all things set in bset' followed by 'unset all
things set in bset' will not even attempt to unset the undefined bits
higher than CAP_LAST_CAP.

So the 'parent' will look something like:
CapInh:	0000000000000000
CapPrm:	0000000000000000
CapEff:	0000000000000000
CapBnd:	ffffffc000000000

All of this 'should' be fine.  Given that these are undefined bits that
aren't supposed to have anything to do with permissions.  But they do...

So lets now consider a task which cleared the eff/perm/inh completely
and cleared all of the valid caps in the bset (but not the invalid caps
it couldn't read out of the kernel).  We know that this is exactly what
the libcap-ng library does and what the go capabilities library does.
They both leave you in that above situation if you try to clear all of
you capapabilities from all 4 sets.  If that root task calls execve()
the child task will pick up all caps not blocked by the bset.  The bset
however does not block bits higher than CAP_LAST_CAP.  So now the child
task has bits in eff which are not in the parent.  These are
'meaningless' undefined bits, but still bits which the parent doesn't

The problem is now in cred_cap_issubset() (or any operation which does a
subset test) as the child, while a subset for valid cap bits, is not a
subset for invalid cap bits!  So now we set durring commit creds that
the child is not dumpable.  Given it is 'more priv' than its parent.  It
also means the parent cannot ptrace the child and other stupidity.

The solution here:
1) stop hiding capability bits in status
	This makes debugging easier!

2) stop giving any task undefined capability bits.  it's simple, it you
don't put those invalid bits in CAP_FULL_SET you won't get them in init
and you won't get them in any other task either.
	This fixes the cap_issubset() tests and resulting fallout (which
	made the init task in a docker container untraceable among other

3) mask out undefined bits when sys_capset() is called as it might use
~0, ~0 to denote 'all capabilities' for backward/forward compatibility.
	This lets 'capsh --caps="all=eip" -- -c /bin/bash' run.

4) mask out undefined bit when we read a file capability off of disk as
again likely all bits are set in the xattr for forward/backward
	This lets 'setcap all+pe /bin/bash; /bin/bash' run

Signed-off-by: Eric Paris <eparis at redhat.com>
Reviewed-by: Kees Cook <keescook at chromium.org>
Cc: Andrew Vagin <avagin at openvz.org>
Cc: Andrew G. Morgan <morgan at kernel.org>
Cc: Serge E. Hallyn <serge.hallyn at canonical.com>
Cc: Kees Cook <keescook at chromium.org>
Cc: Steve Grubb <sgrubb at redhat.com>
Cc: Dan Walsh <dwalsh at redhat.com>
Signed-off-by: James Morris <james.l.morris at oracle.com>
Signed-off-by: Kamal Mostafa <kamal at canonical.com>
 fs/proc/array.c            | 11 +----------
 include/linux/capability.h |  5 ++++-
 kernel/audit.c             |  2 +-
 kernel/capability.c        |  4 ++++
 security/commoncap.c       |  3 +++
 5 files changed, 13 insertions(+), 12 deletions(-)

diff --git a/fs/proc/array.c b/fs/proc/array.c
index 1bd2077..fafb03d 100644
--- a/fs/proc/array.c
+++ b/fs/proc/array.c
@@ -306,15 +306,11 @@ static void render_cap_t(struct seq_file *m, const char *header,
 	seq_puts(m, header);
 	CAP_FOR_EACH_U32(__capi) {
 		seq_printf(m, "%08x",
-			   a->cap[(_KERNEL_CAPABILITY_U32S-1) - __capi]);
+			   a->cap[CAP_LAST_U32 - __capi]);
 	seq_putc(m, '\n');

-/* Remove non-existent capabilities */
-#define NORM_CAPS(v) (v.cap[CAP_TO_INDEX(CAP_LAST_CAP)] &= \
-				CAP_TO_MASK(CAP_LAST_CAP + 1) - 1)
 static inline void task_cap(struct seq_file *m, struct task_struct *p)
 	const struct cred *cred;
@@ -328,11 +324,6 @@ static inline void task_cap(struct seq_file *m, struct task_struct *p)
 	cap_bset	= cred->cap_bset;

-	NORM_CAPS(cap_inheritable);
-	NORM_CAPS(cap_permitted);
-	NORM_CAPS(cap_effective);
-	NORM_CAPS(cap_bset);
 	render_cap_t(m, "CapInh:\t", &cap_inheritable);
 	render_cap_t(m, "CapPrm:\t", &cap_permitted);
 	render_cap_t(m, "CapEff:\t", &cap_effective);
diff --git a/include/linux/capability.h b/include/linux/capability.h
index 84b13ad..aa93e5e 100644
--- a/include/linux/capability.h
+++ b/include/linux/capability.h
@@ -78,8 +78,11 @@ extern const kernel_cap_t __cap_init_eff_set;
 # error Fix up hand-coded capability macro initializers
 #else /* HAND-CODED capability initializers */

+#define CAP_LAST_U32			((_KERNEL_CAPABILITY_U32S) - 1)
 # define CAP_EMPTY_SET    ((kernel_cap_t){{ 0, 0 }})
-# define CAP_FULL_SET     ((kernel_cap_t){{ ~0, ~0 }})
+# define CAP_FULL_SET     ((kernel_cap_t){{ ~0, CAP_LAST_U32_VALID_MASK }})
 # define CAP_FS_SET       ((kernel_cap_t){{ CAP_FS_MASK_B0 \
 				    CAP_FS_MASK_B1 } })
diff --git a/kernel/audit.c b/kernel/audit.c
index b64b367..013d900 100644
--- a/kernel/audit.c
+++ b/kernel/audit.c
@@ -1516,7 +1516,7 @@ void audit_log_cap(struct audit_buffer *ab, char *prefix, kernel_cap_t *cap)
 	audit_log_format(ab, " %s=", prefix);
 	CAP_FOR_EACH_U32(i) {
 		audit_log_format(ab, "%08x",
-				 cap->cap[(_KERNEL_CAPABILITY_U32S-1) - i]);
+				 cap->cap[CAP_LAST_U32 - i]);

diff --git a/kernel/capability.c b/kernel/capability.c
index 788653b..50fb74b 100644
--- a/kernel/capability.c
+++ b/kernel/capability.c
@@ -268,6 +268,10 @@ SYSCALL_DEFINE2(capset, cap_user_header_t, header, const cap_user_data_t, data)

+	effective.cap[CAP_LAST_U32] &= CAP_LAST_U32_VALID_MASK;
+	permitted.cap[CAP_LAST_U32] &= CAP_LAST_U32_VALID_MASK;
+	inheritable.cap[CAP_LAST_U32] &= CAP_LAST_U32_VALID_MASK;
 	new = prepare_creds();
 	if (!new)
 		return -ENOMEM;
diff --git a/security/commoncap.c b/security/commoncap.c
index b9d613e..963dc59 100644
--- a/security/commoncap.c
+++ b/security/commoncap.c
@@ -421,6 +421,9 @@ int get_vfs_caps_from_disk(const struct dentry *dentry, struct cpu_vfs_cap_data
 		cpu_caps->inheritable.cap[i] = le32_to_cpu(caps.data[i].inheritable);

+	cpu_caps->permitted.cap[CAP_LAST_U32] &= CAP_LAST_U32_VALID_MASK;
+	cpu_caps->inheritable.cap[CAP_LAST_U32] &= CAP_LAST_U32_VALID_MASK;
 	return 0;


More information about the kernel-team mailing list