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Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2023 20:45:40 -0400
From: Demi Marie Obenour <>
Subject: Re: sandboxing,of upstream programs by distros

On Sun, Oct 22, 2023 at 02:06:49AM +0200, Solar Designer wrote:
> Hi Matt,
> I'm sorry I didn't follow up on this sooner.
> On Sat, Oct 14, 2023 at 06:39:49PM +1100, Matthew Fernandez wrote:
> > Is there interest/solutions within the Rock Security SIG or other 
> > distro's security teams for sandboxing that package upstreams can opt 
> > into?
> For Rocky Linux Security SIG, the only relevant thing mentioned so far
> was possibly offering an OpenBSD pledge()-alike that other packages
> could use.  However, I am skeptical any actually would, unless we also
> introduce such uses ourselves and maintain own "override" packages
> (replacing RHEL rebuild ones or those coming from EPEL, etc.) of such
> software.  Initially, we are going to only create "override' packages
> for core or very commonly used/exposed components, and to do so only for
> specific good reasons.  So stuff like e.g. ImageMagick/GraphicsMagick
> coming from EPEL and with most of its dependency libraries coming from
> AppStream repos, or e.g. GraphViz coming from AppStream, is unlikely to
> make the cut, at least not initially.

Has deprecating ImageMagick and/or GraphicsMagick outright been
considered?  I don’t just mean the downstream packages, but the entire
upstream projects, or at least the libraries.

> Also, continuing these examples, it's probably more realistic to sandbox
> their command-line tools, whereas the underlying libraries are probably
> more exposed via language bindings.  Would we be introducing creation of
> child processes into the libraries?  That's tricky as it could violate
> expectations of programs using such libraries.  (Yet at Openwall we did
> a similar thing in pam_tcb, albeit limiting this maybe-unexpected
> behavior to setups that opted-in to it with the "fork" option in the PAM
> configuration file.  So it's not completely out of consideration.)

One option would be to instead make an IPC call to a persistent daemon
running in the background.  That said, has wasm2c been considered?  The
best fix would be something that can make C code memory-safe, even if it
comes at a performance hit of 4x or more (like SoftBound+CETS did).
Stuff that cares about performance should be migrating to something like
libvips or ImageFlow.

If neither of these are options, I think the entire library will need to
be deprecated for eventual removal.  The command-line tools can remain,
but they can be much more strongly sandboxed than a library can, because
they have the entire process to themselves.
Demi Marie Obenour (she/her/hers)
Invisible Things Lab

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