Linux Kernel "LOCKDOWN" Ported To Being An LSM, Still Undergoing Review
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Security on 23 June 2019 at 04:45 AM EDT. 3 Comments
LINUX SECURITY --
It didn't make it for the Linux 5.2 kernel and now it's up to its 33rd revision on the Linux kernel mailing list... The "lockdown" patches for locking down access to various kernel hardware features has been reworked now and is a Linux Security Module (LSM) as it still tries to get enough endorsements to be mainlined.

The Lockdown effort has been most recently led by Google's Matthew Garrett and with this 33rd revision he reworked the code to serve as an LSM module. The Lockdown functionality prohibits writing to /dev/mem, restricts PCI BAR and CPU MSR access, doesn't allow kernel module parameters that touch hardware settings, drops system hibernation support, and disables other functionality that could potentially change the hardware state or running Linux kernel image.

Locking down the kernel is primarily of interest for UEFI SecureBoot and other privacy/security-minded use-cases. Some Linux distributions already carry these patches as an option but it's been a long struggle getting this functionality into mainline.

The goal isn't to force these restrictions by default but would be toggled via a kernel command-line option or paths to enabling it.

These LOCKDOWN v33 patches are up on the kernel mailing list for review. It's too early to see yet if there are any chances of getting this code into the upcoming Linux 5.3 kernel merge window.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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