Re: Maintenance policies and early considerations III

Hidehiro Kawai


(2016/09/22 21:56), Agustin Benito Bethencourt wrote:

the below considerations were discussed during the Members meeting.
There is no conclusion yet about how to proceed.

++ Security fixes

+++ Out-of-tree drivers

The embedded systems that CIP will be used in will also often require
out-of-tree drivers and will sometimes include other changes of unknown
quality to their kernel. It needs to be made clear to members that
these modifications are unsupported, and that when they want the CIP
core team to address a bug found in such a modified kernel they must
first demonstrate that it exists in the CIP source release.
I agree on that. CIP don't need to care about out-of-tree drivers.

+++ Security updates

Commercial Linux based distributions like RHEL/SLE typically has
security updates available for the most serious issues (such as
privilege escalation) within a few days of them being publicly known, if
not on the first day.

CIP may be able to achieve this with its source releases but its members
may take much longer to release and deploy binary updates, maybe due to
valid concerns about the risk of regression or limited opportunities to
deploy updates. In the worst case, they may use CIP as an
advertising/compliance point but rarely bother to update. For this
reason Ben H. thinks it's important to draw on the work of the Kernel
Self-Protection Project to add mitigations against common types of
vulnerability. That work is slowly filtering into mainline and at least
some of it could be backported.
I think it is important to prepare for zero-day attacks, and the Kernel
Self-Protection Project would help it. If it could be backported,
doing it is preferred. But does it make the long-term maintenance difficult?

+++ Request to members from maintainer

During the meeting Ben requested CIP members to provide him some
guidelines or policies currently followed to choose security patches.
This information will hopefully provide some light that help maintainers
to define some basic policies for choosing security fixes. This policies
need to be tested over time.

Due to the length of the maintenance period, it is unlikely that the
same person/team maintain the kernel for the entire life cycle so the
main policies at least need to be left written.
Basically, I expect CIP supports all CVEs which are related to supported
features by CIP. But human resources are limited, so CIP members might
need to prioritize them depending on their impact.

Best regards,

Hidehiro Kawai
Hitachi, Ltd. Research & Development Group

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