Re: [saag] Common labeled security (comment on CALIPSO, labeled NFSv4)

"Santosh Chokhani" <SChokhani@cygnacom.com> Fri, 03 April 2009 17:35 UTC

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Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2009 13:36:17 -0400
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Thread-Topic: [saag] Common labeled security (comment on CALIPSO, labeled NFSv4)
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From: "Santosh Chokhani" <SChokhani@cygnacom.com>
To: "Russ Housley" <housley@vigilsec.com>, <saag@ietf.org>
Cc: labeled-nfs@linux-nfs.org, selinux@tycho.nsa.gov, nfsv4@ietf.org, nfs-discuss@opensolaris.org
Subject: Re: [saag] Common labeled security (comment on CALIPSO, labeled NFSv4)
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Russ,

My thinking was that the features of SPIF that are not needed could be
discarded.

I was hoping that we could help the group save the baby and throw out
the bath water. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Russ Housley [mailto:housley@vigilsec.com] 
> Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 12:45 PM
> To: Santosh Chokhani; saag@ietf.org
> Cc: labeled-nfs@linux-nfs.org; nfs-discuss@opensolaris.org; 
> nfsv4@ietf.org; selinux@tycho.nsa.gov
> Subject: Re: [saag] Common labeled security (comment on 
> CALIPSO, labeled NFSv4)
> 
> I really do not have time to write about all of my concerns.  
> However, once you get beyond the basic classifications, the 
> SPIF model breaks.  They are markings that are only to be 
> known to people that have the clearance for those markings, 
> this leads to a SPIF distribution nightmare, as a subset of 
> the real SPIF must be given out based on access (or not) to 
> various compartments and such.  It just does not scale.
> 
> Russ
> 
> At 11:22 AM 4/3/2009, Santosh Chokhani wrote:
> >As part of MISSI and DMS, in mid to late 90's we did work on 
> something 
> >called Security Policy Information File (SPIF).
> >
> >At high level SPIF entailed the following:
> >
> >1.  It was ASN.1 based.
> >2.  It permitted you to convert the machine representation to human 
> >readable representation.
> >3.  It permitted you to convert the human readable input to machine 
> >representation.
> >4.  It mapped labels (hierarchical sensitivity levels and 
> >non-hierarchical categories) from one labeling policy to 
> another (i.e., 
> >establish equivalency mapping) 5.  It allowed you to 
> constrain labels 
> >since for some policies, existence of a category may mean some 
> >categories, levels, may be included and/or excluded.
> >
> >Different labeling policies were indicated by different policy OID.
> >
> >Some of the concept from that work may be applicable here.
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: saag-bounces@ietf.org 
> [mailto:saag-bounces@ietf.org] On Behalf 
> > > Of Nicolas Williams
> > > Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 11:44 AM
> > > To: saag@ietf.org
> > > Cc: labeled-nfs@linux-nfs.org; selinux@tycho.nsa.gov; 
> > > nfsv4@ietf.org; nfs-discuss@opensolaris.org
> > > Subject: [saag] Common labeled security (comment on 
> CALIPSO, labeled 
> > > NFSv4)
> > >
> > > Over at the NFSv4 WG we've been having a discussion of a labeled 
> > > NFSv4 proposal.  [Note: NFSv4 WG and others cc'ed,
> > > Reply-To: set to SAAG.]
> > >
> > > An interop issue has arisen that we believe applies equally to 
> > > CALIPSO (draft-stjohns-sipso-11.txt)and requires input 
> from the IETF 
> > > security area.
> > >
> > > The issue is: how do do nodes in a labeled 
> network/application know 
> > > if they agree on a common labeled security policy for a given DOI?
> > >
> > > Agreeing on a DOI is accomplished easily enough -- that's not an 
> > > issue.
> > > Agreeing on what a given numeric sensitivity level or compartment 
> > > bit means in a given DOI is quite another.
> > > Without a solution to this we're left with out-of-band agreement, 
> > > which leaves interop in a lurch.
> > >
> > > I think we need a generic MLS and DTE labeled security policy 
> > > document format that allows a DOI to define the names and numeric 
> > > assignments of sensitivity levels, compartments, etcetera.
> > >
> > > We also need a way for nodes to agree that they have the 
> same policy 
> > > for a given DOI, or that they agree on a common subset of a DOI's 
> > > policy.
> > >
> > > This last problem can be solved by use of a labeled 
> security policy 
> > > URI scheme that includes a version number (+ a requirement that 
> > > changes be in the form of additions and obsolescence of old 
> > > assignments, but not removals).
> > >
> > > To recap: I think we need a) a common MLS and DTE labeled 
> security 
> > > policy document format, b) a labeled security policy URI 
> scheme to 
> > > refer to such documents by.
> > >
> > > Given (a) and (b) NFSv4.x clients and servers would only have to 
> > > exchange {DOI #, policy URI} tuples to determine whether 
> they agree 
> > > on a common policy.
> > >
> > > Note that CALIPSO describes how to encode and compare MLS 
> labels on 
> > > the wire, but it does not describe how nodes agree on the 
> meaning of 
> > > particular sensitivity levels or compartments.  Therefore 
> CALIPSO is 
> > > going to have much the same problem as NFSv4.
> > >
> > > Nico
> > > --
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> > >
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