Embedded Linux Japan Technical Jamboree 63 slides/videos uploaded

Status of Embedded Linux, Tim Bird
Review of ELC Europe 2017, Tim Bird
mplementing state-of-the-art U-Boot port, 2017 edition, by Marek Vasut
Linux カーネルのメモリ管理の闇をめぐる戦い(協力者募集中, Tetsuo Handa (NTT Data)
Request for your suggestions: How to Protect Data in eMMC on Embedded Devices, Gou Nakatsuka (Daikin)
Fuego Status and Roadmap, Tim Bird
Multicast Video-Streaming on Embedded Linux environment, Daichi Fukui (TOSHIBA)
From 1 to many Implementing SMP on OpenRISC, Stafford Horne
Core Partitioning Technique on Multicore Linux systems, Kouta Okamoto (TOSHIBA)
Debian + YoctoProject Based Projects: Collaboration Status, Kazuhiro Hayashi (TOSHIBA)


See-also: Septemer 2017 Jamboree 62:

Status of Embedded Linux, Tim Bird
EdgeX Foundry: Introduction and demonstration of end to end IoT system, Victor Duan, Linaro
Lighting Talk: Integration between GitLab and Fuego, Tomohito Esaki, IGEL Co., Ltd.
DebConf17 Report, Kazuhiro Hayashi, TOSHIBA
Lightning Talk : About the LTS now, Shinsuke kato, Panasonic Corporation
Kernel Recipes 2015 – Linux Stable Release process, Greg KH
Lightning Talk: IPv6 Ready Logo Test for LTSI 4.9 and introduction about CVE-2016-5863 and CVE-2017-11164, Fan Xin, Fujitsu Computer Technologies Limited



Linux Foundation workstation security ebook

[…]Now, before you even start with your operating system installation, there are a few things you should consider to ensure your pre-boot environment is up to snuff. You will want to make sure:
* UEFI boot mode is used (not legacy BIOS) (ESSENTIAL)
* A password is required to enter UEFI configuration (ESSENTIAL)
* SecureBoot is enabled (ESSENTIAL)
* A UEFI-level password is required to boot the system (NICE-to-HAVE)



Sounds interesting, but I don’t see any actual download link for this ebook. I guess I need some sleep.

There is also this: https://firmwaresecurity.com/2015/08/31/linux-foundation-it-security-policies-firmware-guidance/



Jan Lübbe on eLinux security

Jan Lübbe of Pengutronix e.K. gave a talk at ELCE’16 (Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2016) called: “Long-Term Maintenance, or How to (Mis-)Manage Embedded Systems for 10+ Years”.

“Hardware vendors don’t care about security or maintenance.”



OpenIoT Summit announced

The Linux Foundation has started a new conference, the OpenIoT Summit, April 4-6 in San Diego, California. Call for Papers is open, closes in a few days, Feburary 5th.


OpenIoT Summit is a technical event created to serve the unique needs of system architects, firmware developers, software developers and application developers in this emerging IoT ecosystem.

Amongst the buzzwords in their CfP’s Suggested Topics were: “Device and Firmware Management“, so maybe something interesting at this event. 🙂

Their CfP list of IoT frameworks/OSes:
AllJoyn, IoTivity, Linux, Soletta, Weave, Yocto Project, and Small, real-time OSes (e.g. Contiki, FreeRTOS, RIoT).


Clarification of Matthew Garrett’s Linux fork

Some irresponsible bloggers have been commenting about Matthew’s fork of Linux:


ZDNet has a story with comments from Matthew explaining things:

“I wouldn’t say I’m forking. I’d say that I’m doing my own development work away from LKML. Right now it’s got the securelevel work in it because that’s the only code I have that I feel is ready for public use, but it’ll pick up other bits of code that I’m working on as they become mature.”


I guess I look at Matthew’s fork is like the GRSecurity patch for Linux kernel: Matthew’s got the patchset that enables UEFI Secure Boot to be secure on Linux. I hope Tails, Qubes, and other security-minded distros use Matthew’s kernel, at least in builds for UEFI-based systems.

[One of the causes of the above issue is Linus having to deal with Microsoft as a CA. UEFI Forum could also deal with this by putting in place a CA that is not an OSV/OEM. OEMs could be making Linux-friendly sytsems, not just Windows- or Chrome boxes, where Linux is an afterthought second install, which is a lot harder to do with UEFI/Windows Secure Boot — and even Chrome Verified Boot. Linux Foundation could also be helping, by working with OEMs.]


Linux Foundation IT Security Policies: firmware guidance

A  few days ago, the Linux Foundation released new guidance for securing Linux systems. Since the Linux Foundation has mostly remote workers, there are currently 2 documents: one on hardening Linux Workstations, and one for secure group communications, the latter something like a CryptoParty Handbook. Here’s an excerpt of the Hardware/Firmware/Pre-OS section from the Workstation document:

Choosing the right hardware

We do not mandate that our admins use a specific vendor or a specific model, so this section addresses core considerations when choosing a work system.


    System supports SecureBoot (CRITICAL)
    System has no firewire, thunderbolt or ExpressCard ports (MODERATE)
    System has a TPM chip (LOW)



Despite its controversial nature, SecureBoot offers prevention against many attacks targeting workstations (Rootkits, “Evil Maid,” etc), without introducing too much extra hassle. It will not stop a truly dedicated attacker, plus there is a pretty high degree of certainty that state security agencies have ways to defeat it (probably by design), but having SecureBoot is better than having nothing at all. Alternatively, you may set up Anti Evil Maid which offers a more wholesome protection against the type of attacks that SecureBoot is supposed to prevent, but it will require more effort to set up and maintain.

Firewire, thunderbolt, and ExpressCard ports

Firewire is a standard that, by design, allows any connecting device full direct memory access to your system (see Wikipedia). Thunderbolt and ExpressCard are guilty of the same, though some later implementations of Thunderbolt attempt to limit the scope of memory access. It is best if the system you are getting has none of these ports, but it is not critical, as they usually can be turned off via UEFI or disabled in the kernel itself.

TPM Chip

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a crypto chip bundled with the motherboard separately from the core processor, which can be used for additional platform security (such as to store full-disk encryption keys), but is not normally used for day-to-day workstation operation. At best, this is a nice-to-have, unless you have a specific need to use TPM for your workstation security.

Pre-boot environment

This is a set of recommendations for your workstation before you even start with OS installation.


    UEFI boot mode is used (not legacy BIOS) (CRITICAL)
    Password is required to enter UEFI configuration (CRITICAL)
    SecureBoot is enabled (CRITICAL)
    UEFI-level password is required to boot the system (LOW)


UEFI and SecureBoot

UEFI, with all its warts, offers a lot of goodies that legacy BIOS doesn’t, such as SecureBoot. Most modern systems come with UEFI mode on by default.

Make sure a strong password is required to enter UEFI configuration mode. Pay attention, as many manufacturers quietly limit the length of the password you are allowed to use, so you may need to choose high-entropy short passwords vs. long passphrases (see below for more on passphrases).

Depending on the Linux distribution you decide to use, you may or may not have to jump through additional hoops in order to import your distribution’s SecureBoot key that would allow you to boot the distro. Many distributions have partnered with Microsoft to sign their released kernels with a key that is already recognized by most system manufacturers, therefore saving you the trouble of having to deal with key importing.

As an extra measure, before someone is allowed to even get to the boot partition and try some badness there, let’s make them enter a password. This password should be different from your UEFI management password, in order to prevent shoulder-surfing. If you shut down and start a lot, you may choose to not bother with this, as you will already have to enter a LUKS passphrase and this will save you a few extra keystrokes.

Full information:




PS: The Linux Foundation also just started a Core Infrastructure Initiative, which has security implications, which I’ve got to find out more on, and will blog on later.


Linux Security Summit 2015 proceedings available

As part of LinuxCon North America, the Linux Security Summit recently finished, and presentations are now available (I omitted the few talks which had no presentations from below list):

* Keynote: Giant Bags of Mostly Water – Securing your IT Infrastructure by Securing your Team, Konstantin Ryabitsev, Linux Foundation
* CC3: An Identity Attested Linux Security Supervisor Architecture, Greg Wettstein, IDfusion
* SELinux in Android Lollipop and Android M, Stephen Smalley, NSA
* Discussion: Rethinking Audit, Paul Moore, Red Hat
* Assembling Secure OS Images, Elena Reshetova, Intel
* Linux and Mobile Device Encryption, Paul Lawrence, Mike Halcrow, Google
* Discussion: Core Infrastructure Initiative, Emily Ratliff, Linux Foundation
* Security Framework for Constraining Application Privileges, Lukasz Wojciechowski, Samsung
* IMA/EVM: Real Applications for Embedded Networking Systems, Petko Manolov, Konsulko Group, Mark Baushke, Juniper Networks
* Ioctl Command Whitelisting in SELinux, Jeffrey Vander Stoep, Google
* IMA/EVM on Android Device, Dmitry Kasatkin, Huawei Technologies
* Subsystem Update: Smack, Casey Schaufler, Intel
* Subsystem Update: AppArmor, John Johansen, Canonical
* Subsystem Update: Integrity, Mimi Zohar, IBM
* Subsystem Update: SELinux, Paul Moore, Red Hat
* Subsystem Update: Capabilities, Serge Hallyn, Canonical
* Subsystem Update: Seccomp, Kees Cook, Google
* Discussion: LSM Stacking Next Steps, Casey Schaufler, Intel