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Re: [Qemu-devel] RFC: Universal encryption on QEMU I/O channels

From: Daniel P. Berrange
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] RFC: Universal encryption on QEMU I/O channels
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2015 14:50:53 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Wed, Feb 04, 2015 at 04:48:44PM +0200, Marcel Apfelbaum wrote:
> On 02/04/2015 04:28 PM, Paolo Bonzini wrote:
> >
> >
> >On 04/02/2015 15:02, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> >>>I'm not sure if it makes sense for RDMA; it already has a couple of hooks
> >>>that go around the back of QEMUFile in migration, and it's transferring the
> >>>data via DMA so the page data doesn't go through the same path.
> >>
> >>Could you ever anticipate any need for authentication or encryption in
> >>the RDMA based channel ? I don't know enough about RDMA myself to know
> >>if it makes sense or not, other than the fact that any channel between
> >>two separate hosts needs security at some level in the stack.
> >
> >Authentication, possibly; but I don't think encryption makes sense.  Marcel?
> I personally think that the protocol is safe enough, but as always there are 
> holes
> and I am not a security expert:
>     "RDMA mechanisms can create a potential security vulnerability. A node 
> may access another nodes
>      memory region that was supposed to be banned.
>      In order to protect remote memory access to unauthorized memory areas, 
> InfiniBand defines memory
>      protection mechanisms, where a remote memory access requires a special 
> key (R_Key). The R_Key is
>      negotiated between the peers and is validated at the target’s system HCA 
> card. In case of illegal key the
>      packet is dropped. The R_Key requirement is built into silicon and 
> driver code and cannot be disabled
>      even when attacker compromises root/admin/superuser account on one or 
> multiple servers."
> More on Layer 2 attacks and how Infiniband handle those:
> http://www.mellanox.com/related-docs/whitepapers/WP_Secuirty_In_InfiniBand_Fabrics_Final.pdf

Ok I guess we could probably just assume RDMA is sufficient as is for now.
We can fairly easily revisit it later if we find it it needs more work

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