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From: Eric Biggers <>
To: Janne Karhunen <>
	Mimi Zohar <>,,,
	Konsta Karsisto <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 1/3] ima: keep the integrity state of open files up to date
Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2019 21:23:34 -0700
Message-ID: <20190917042334.GA1436@sol.localdomain> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 02:45:56PM +0300, Janne Karhunen wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 15, 2019 at 11:24 PM Eric Biggers <> wrote:
> > > > This still doesn't make it crash-safe.  So why is it okay?
> > >
> > > If Android is the load, this makes it crash safe 99% of the time and
> > > that is considerably better than 0% of the time.
> > >
> >
> > Who will use it if it isn't 100% safe?
> I suppose anyone using mutable data with IMA appraise should, unless
> they have a redundant power supply and a kernel that never crashes. In
> a way this is like asking if the ima-appraise should be there for
> mutable data at all. All this is doing is that it improves the crash
> recovery reliability without taking anything away.

Okay, so why would anyone use mutable data with IMA appraise if it corrupts your
files by design, both with and without this patchset?

> Anyway, I think I'm getting along with my understanding of the page
> writeback slowly and the journal support will eventually be there at
> least as an add-on patch for those that want to use it and really need
> the last 0.n% reliability. Note that even without that patch you can
> build ima-appraise based systems that are 99.999% reliable just by

On what storage devices, workloads, and filesystems is this number for?

> having the patch we're discussing here. Without it you would be orders
> of magnitude worse off. All we are doing is that we give it a fairly
> good chance to recover instead of giving up without even trying.
> That said, I'm not sure the 100% crash recovery is ever guaranteed in
> any Linux system. We just have to do what we can, no?

Filesystems implement consistency mechanisms, e.g. journalling or copy-on-write,
to recover from crashes by design.  This patchset doesn't implement or use any
such mechanism, so it's not crash-safe.  It's not clear that it's even a step in
the right direction, as no patches have been proposed for a correct solution so
we can see what it actually involves.

- Eric

  reply index

Thread overview: 14+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-09-02  9:45 Janne Karhunen
2019-09-02  9:45 ` [PATCH 2/3] ima: update the file measurement on truncate Janne Karhunen
2019-09-08 15:38   ` Mimi Zohar
2019-09-02  9:45 ` [PATCH 3/3] ima: update the file measurement on writes Janne Karhunen
2019-09-08 17:07   ` Mimi Zohar
2019-09-02 11:31 ` [PATCH 1/3] ima: keep the integrity state of open files up to date kbuild test robot
2019-09-02 12:57 ` kbuild test robot
2019-09-08 16:35 ` Mimi Zohar
2019-09-09 21:39 ` Eric Biggers
2019-09-10  7:04   ` Janne Karhunen
2019-09-15 20:24     ` Eric Biggers
2019-09-16 11:45       ` Janne Karhunen
2019-09-17  4:23         ` Eric Biggers [this message]
2019-09-17  7:24           ` Janne Karhunen

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