Tianocore patch to increase memory protection

Ard Biesheuvel of Linaro submitted a V2 5-part patch to the EDK2 project, to harden UEFI more!

This is a proof of concept implementation that removes all executable permissions from writable memory regions, which greatly enhances security. It is based on Jiewen’s recent work, which is a step in the right direction, but still leaves most of memory exploitable due to the default R+W+X permissions. The idea is that the implementation of the CPU arch protocol goes over the memory map and removes exec permissions from all regions that are not already marked as ‘code. This requires some preparatory work to ensure that the DxeCore itself is covered by a BootServicesCode region, not a BootServicesData region. Exec permissions are re-granted selectively, when the PE/COFF loader allocates the space for it. Combined with Jiewen’s code/data split, this removes all RWX mapped regions.

Changes since v1:
– allocate code pages for PE/COFF images in PeiCore, so that DxeCore pages have the expected memory type (as suggested by Jiewen)
– add patch to inhibit page table updates while syncing the GCD memory space map with the page tables
– add PCD to set memory protection policy, which allows the policy for reserved and ACPI/NVS memory to be configured separately
– move attribute manipulation into DxeCore page allocation code: this way, we should be able to solve the EBC case by allocating BootServicesCode pool memory explicitly.

More info:

Tianocore patch to harden UEFI executables

Ard Biesheuvel of Linaro has posted a V2 patch to the Linux-EFI list, which includes some UEFI image hardening.

[PATCH v2 00/14] arm64+ARM: efi: PE/COFF cleanup/hardening

This cleans up the PE/COFF EFI header, by taking some of Mark’s patches and use them to replace open coded constants with symbolic ones, and remove incorrect values or unused sections. Finally, it updates the section layout so that the kernel Image can be mapped in a way that does not require setting RWX permissions anywhere. Note that this is currently not a huge win, given that most current UEFI implementations map all of RAM RWX by default, but this is finally gaining some attention, and work is underway to make the PE/COFF loader in EDK2 adhere to the section permissions, which would also allow the RAM mapping to default to non-executable. Work in progress nonetheless…

Changes since v1:
– added missing secondary SOB on Mark’s patches
– leave Image header as before, only move the PE header to a separate file
– put PE header fixes in a separate patch
– add acks from Mark and Peter (#6)
– give ARM the same treatment as arm64 (#10 – #13)
– add NB10 PE debuglink entry to ARM PE/COFF header as well (#9, #14)

Full announcement/patch:

EFI changes for Linux v4.9

Matt Fleming sent a message to Linux Kernel/EFI lists with a set of UEFI-centric patches for Linux 4.9. Excerpting his message:

[…]There’s more work on refactoring EFI code to be architecture independent and the largest number of patches is spent cleaning up the EFI memory map code and allowing drivers on x86 to reserve EFI boot services for all of runtime. The architecture independent quest is going pretty well and it was only a couple of lines to get the esrt driver working on arm64. Other than that there’s some cleanups and fixes, and a merge of the out of tree EFI runtime driver from the FWTS project.

 * Refactor the EFI memory map code into architecture neutral files and allow drivers to permanently reserve EFI boot services regions on x86, as well as ARM/arm64 – Matt Fleming
 * Add ARM support for the EFI esrt driver – Ard Biesheuvel
 * Make the EFI runtime services and efivar API interruptible by swapping spinlocks for semaphores – Sylvain Chouleur
 * Provide the EFI identity mapping for kexec which allows kexec to work on SGI/UV platforms with requiring the “noefi” kernel command line parameter – Alex Thorlton
 * Add debugfs node to dump EFI page tables on arm64 – Ard Biesheuvel
 * Merge the EFI test driver being carried out of tree until now in the FWTS project – Ivan Hu
 * Expand the list of flags for classifying EFI regions as “RAM” on arm64 so we align with the UEFI spec – Ard Biesheuvel
 * Optimise out the EFI mixed mode if it’s unsupported (CONFIG_X86_32) or disabled (CONFIG_EFI_MIXED=n) and switch the early EFI boot services function table for direct calls, alleviating us from having to maintain the custom function table – Lukas Wunner
 * Miscellaneous cleanups and fixes

git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/mfleming/efi.git tags/efi-next