RFC(v2): Audit Kernel Container IDs

Eric W. Biederman ebiederm at xmission.com
Thu Oct 19 16:25:10 UTC 2017

Paul Moore <paul at paul-moore.com> writes:

> On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 8:43 PM, Eric W. Biederman
> <ebiederm at xmission.com> wrote:
>> Aleksa Sarai <asarai at suse.de> writes:
>>>>> The security implications are that anything that can change the label
>>>>> could also hide itself and its doings from the audit system and thus
>>>>> would be used as a means to evade detection.  I actually think this
>>>>> means the label should be write once (once you've set it, you can't
>>>>> change it) ...
>>>> Richard and I have talked about a write once approach, but the
>>>> thinking was that you may want to allow a nested container
>>>> orchestrator (Why? I don't know, but people always want to do the
>>>> craziest things.) and a write-once policy makes that impossible.  If
>>>> we punt on the nested orchestrator, I believe we can seriously think
>>>> about a write-once policy to simplify things.
>>> Nested containers are a very widely used use-case (see LXC system containers,
>>> inside of which people run other container runtimes). So I would definitely
>>> consider it something that "needs to be supported in some way". While the LXC
>>> guys might be a *tad* crazy, the use-case isn't. :P
> No worries, we're all a little crazy in our own special ways ;)
> Kidding aside, thanks for explaining the use case.
>> Of course some of that gets to running auditd inside a container which
>> we don't have yet either.
>> So I think to start it is perfectly fine to figure out the non-nested
>> case first and what makes sense there.  Then to sort out the nested
>> container case.
>> The solution might be that a process gets at most one id per ``audit
>> namespace''.
> In an attempt to stay on-topic, let's try to stick with "audit
> container ID" or "container ID" if you must.  I really want to avoid
> the term "audit namespace" simply because the term "namespace" implies
> some things which we aren't planning on doing.

This is 100% on topic.  I am saying that unless we are planing to have
auditd running in a container with it's own set of rules you probably
don't care about nested containers.  Last time I heard a discussion
about that the term in use was audit namespace.   So I was referring to
that support when I said audit namespace, even if the end result only
loosely fits the term namespace.

I could be wrong of course.  I don't fully understand what is driving
the desire to connect audit and containers.  But my naive guess is that
one from an audit perspective you don't care about nested containers
unless there is also a nested auditd who is looking at it from a nested

So far we have established with the term container that we are talking
about a running instance of processes, not a filesystem instance that
Docker and friends ship around.   Beyond that I am not certain what you
care about.


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