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Based on kernel version 4.16.1. Page generated on 2018-04-09 11:52 EST.

1	Kernel module signing facility
2	------------------------------
3	
4	.. CONTENTS
5	..
6	.. - Overview.
7	.. - Configuring module signing.
8	.. - Generating signing keys.
9	.. - Public keys in the kernel.
10	.. - Manually signing modules.
11	.. - Signed modules and stripping.
12	.. - Loading signed modules.
13	.. - Non-valid signatures and unsigned modules.
14	.. - Administering/protecting the private key.
15	
16	
17	========
18	Overview
19	========
20	
21	The kernel module signing facility cryptographically signs modules during
22	installation and then checks the signature upon loading the module.  This
23	allows increased kernel security by disallowing the loading of unsigned modules
24	or modules signed with an invalid key.  Module signing increases security by
25	making it harder to load a malicious module into the kernel.  The module
26	signature checking is done by the kernel so that it is not necessary to have
27	trusted userspace bits.
28	
29	This facility uses X.509 ITU-T standard certificates to encode the public keys
30	involved.  The signatures are not themselves encoded in any industrial standard
31	type.  The facility currently only supports the RSA public key encryption
32	standard (though it is pluggable and permits others to be used).  The possible
33	hash algorithms that can be used are SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, and
34	SHA-512 (the algorithm is selected by data in the signature).
35	
36	
37	==========================
38	Configuring module signing
39	==========================
40	
41	The module signing facility is enabled by going to the
42	:menuselection:`Enable Loadable Module Support` section of
43	the kernel configuration and turning on::
44	
45		CONFIG_MODULE_SIG	"Module signature verification"
46	
47	This has a number of options available:
48	
49	 (1) :menuselection:`Require modules to be validly signed`
50	     (``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_FORCE``)
51	
52	     This specifies how the kernel should deal with a module that has a
53	     signature for which the key is not known or a module that is unsigned.
54	
55	     If this is off (ie. "permissive"), then modules for which the key is not
56	     available and modules that are unsigned are permitted, but the kernel will
57	     be marked as being tainted, and the concerned modules will be marked as
58	     tainted, shown with the character 'E'.
59	
60	     If this is on (ie. "restrictive"), only modules that have a valid
61	     signature that can be verified by a public key in the kernel's possession
62	     will be loaded.  All other modules will generate an error.
63	
64	     Irrespective of the setting here, if the module has a signature block that
65	     cannot be parsed, it will be rejected out of hand.
66	
67	
68	 (2) :menuselection:`Automatically sign all modules`
69	     (``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_ALL``)
70	
71	     If this is on then modules will be automatically signed during the
72	     modules_install phase of a build.  If this is off, then the modules must
73	     be signed manually using::
74	
75		scripts/sign-file
76	
77	
78	 (3) :menuselection:`Which hash algorithm should modules be signed with?`
79	
80	     This presents a choice of which hash algorithm the installation phase will
81	     sign the modules with:
82	
83	        =============================== ==========================================
84		``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_SHA1``	:menuselection:`Sign modules with SHA-1`
85		``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_SHA224``	:menuselection:`Sign modules with SHA-224`
86		``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_SHA256``	:menuselection:`Sign modules with SHA-256`
87		``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_SHA384``	:menuselection:`Sign modules with SHA-384`
88		``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_SHA512``	:menuselection:`Sign modules with SHA-512`
89	        =============================== ==========================================
90	
91	     The algorithm selected here will also be built into the kernel (rather
92	     than being a module) so that modules signed with that algorithm can have
93	     their signatures checked without causing a dependency loop.
94	
95	
96	 (4) :menuselection:`File name or PKCS#11 URI of module signing key`
97	     (``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_KEY``)
98	
99	     Setting this option to something other than its default of
100	     ``certs/signing_key.pem`` will disable the autogeneration of signing keys
101	     and allow the kernel modules to be signed with a key of your choosing.
102	     The string provided should identify a file containing both a private key
103	     and its corresponding X.509 certificate in PEM form, or — on systems where
104	     the OpenSSL ENGINE_pkcs11 is functional — a PKCS#11 URI as defined by
105	     RFC7512. In the latter case, the PKCS#11 URI should reference both a
106	     certificate and a private key.
107	
108	     If the PEM file containing the private key is encrypted, or if the
109	     PKCS#11 token requries a PIN, this can be provided at build time by
110	     means of the ``KBUILD_SIGN_PIN`` variable.
111	
112	
113	 (5) :menuselection:`Additional X.509 keys for default system keyring`
114	     (``CONFIG_SYSTEM_TRUSTED_KEYS``)
115	
116	     This option can be set to the filename of a PEM-encoded file containing
117	     additional certificates which will be included in the system keyring by
118	     default.
119	
120	Note that enabling module signing adds a dependency on the OpenSSL devel
121	packages to the kernel build processes for the tool that does the signing.
122	
123	
124	=======================
125	Generating signing keys
126	=======================
127	
128	Cryptographic keypairs are required to generate and check signatures.  A
129	private key is used to generate a signature and the corresponding public key is
130	used to check it.  The private key is only needed during the build, after which
131	it can be deleted or stored securely.  The public key gets built into the
132	kernel so that it can be used to check the signatures as the modules are
133	loaded.
134	
135	Under normal conditions, when ``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_KEY`` is unchanged from its
136	default, the kernel build will automatically generate a new keypair using
137	openssl if one does not exist in the file::
138	
139		certs/signing_key.pem
140	
141	during the building of vmlinux (the public part of the key needs to be built
142	into vmlinux) using parameters in the::
143	
144		certs/x509.genkey
145	
146	file (which is also generated if it does not already exist).
147	
148	It is strongly recommended that you provide your own x509.genkey file.
149	
150	Most notably, in the x509.genkey file, the req_distinguished_name section
151	should be altered from the default::
152	
153		[ req_distinguished_name ]
154		#O = Unspecified company
155		CN = Build time autogenerated kernel key
156		#emailAddress = unspecified.user@unspecified.company
157	
158	The generated RSA key size can also be set with::
159	
160		[ req ]
161		default_bits = 4096
162	
163	
164	It is also possible to manually generate the key private/public files using the
165	x509.genkey key generation configuration file in the root node of the Linux
166	kernel sources tree and the openssl command.  The following is an example to
167	generate the public/private key files::
168	
169		openssl req -new -nodes -utf8 -sha256 -days 36500 -batch -x509 \
170		   -config x509.genkey -outform PEM -out kernel_key.pem \
171		   -keyout kernel_key.pem
172	
173	The full pathname for the resulting kernel_key.pem file can then be specified
174	in the ``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_KEY`` option, and the certificate and key therein will
175	be used instead of an autogenerated keypair.
176	
177	
178	=========================
179	Public keys in the kernel
180	=========================
181	
182	The kernel contains a ring of public keys that can be viewed by root.  They're
183	in a keyring called ".system_keyring" that can be seen by::
184	
185		[root@deneb ~]# cat /proc/keys
186		...
187		223c7853 I------     1 perm 1f030000     0     0 keyring   .system_keyring: 1
188		302d2d52 I------     1 perm 1f010000     0     0 asymmetri Fedora kernel signing key: d69a84e6bce3d216b979e9505b3e3ef9a7118079: X509.RSA a7118079 []
189		...
190	
191	Beyond the public key generated specifically for module signing, additional
192	trusted certificates can be provided in a PEM-encoded file referenced by the
193	``CONFIG_SYSTEM_TRUSTED_KEYS`` configuration option.
194	
195	Further, the architecture code may take public keys from a hardware store and
196	add those in also (e.g. from the UEFI key database).
197	
198	Finally, it is possible to add additional public keys by doing::
199	
200		keyctl padd asymmetric "" [.system_keyring-ID] <[key-file]
201	
202	e.g.::
203	
204		keyctl padd asymmetric "" 0x223c7853 <my_public_key.x509
205	
206	Note, however, that the kernel will only permit keys to be added to
207	``.system_keyring _if_`` the new key's X.509 wrapper is validly signed by a key
208	that is already resident in the .system_keyring at the time the key was added.
209	
210	
211	========================
212	Manually signing modules
213	========================
214	
215	To manually sign a module, use the scripts/sign-file tool available in
216	the Linux kernel source tree.  The script requires 4 arguments:
217	
218		1.  The hash algorithm (e.g., sha256)
219		2.  The private key filename or PKCS#11 URI
220		3.  The public key filename
221		4.  The kernel module to be signed
222	
223	The following is an example to sign a kernel module::
224	
225		scripts/sign-file sha512 kernel-signkey.priv \
226			kernel-signkey.x509 module.ko
227	
228	The hash algorithm used does not have to match the one configured, but if it
229	doesn't, you should make sure that hash algorithm is either built into the
230	kernel or can be loaded without requiring itself.
231	
232	If the private key requires a passphrase or PIN, it can be provided in the
233	$KBUILD_SIGN_PIN environment variable.
234	
235	
236	============================
237	Signed modules and stripping
238	============================
239	
240	A signed module has a digital signature simply appended at the end.  The string
241	``~Module signature appended~.`` at the end of the module's file confirms that a
242	signature is present but it does not confirm that the signature is valid!
243	
244	Signed modules are BRITTLE as the signature is outside of the defined ELF
245	container.  Thus they MAY NOT be stripped once the signature is computed and
246	attached.  Note the entire module is the signed payload, including any and all
247	debug information present at the time of signing.
248	
249	
250	======================
251	Loading signed modules
252	======================
253	
254	Modules are loaded with insmod, modprobe, ``init_module()`` or
255	``finit_module()``, exactly as for unsigned modules as no processing is
256	done in userspace.  The signature checking is all done within the kernel.
257	
258	
259	=========================================
260	Non-valid signatures and unsigned modules
261	=========================================
262	
263	If ``CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_FORCE`` is enabled or module.sig_enforce=1 is supplied on
264	the kernel command line, the kernel will only load validly signed modules
265	for which it has a public key.   Otherwise, it will also load modules that are
266	unsigned.   Any module for which the kernel has a key, but which proves to have
267	a signature mismatch will not be permitted to load.
268	
269	Any module that has an unparseable signature will be rejected.
270	
271	
272	=========================================
273	Administering/protecting the private key
274	=========================================
275	
276	Since the private key is used to sign modules, viruses and malware could use
277	the private key to sign modules and compromise the operating system.  The
278	private key must be either destroyed or moved to a secure location and not kept
279	in the root node of the kernel source tree.
280	
281	If you use the same private key to sign modules for multiple kernel
282	configurations, you must ensure that the module version information is
283	sufficient to prevent loading a module into a different kernel.  Either
284	set ``CONFIG_MODVERSIONS=y`` or ensure that each configuration has a different
285	kernel release string by changing ``EXTRAVERSION`` or ``CONFIG_LOCALVERSION``.
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