TOMOYO Linux is Mandatory Access Control (MAC) implementation for Linux. It was launched in March 2003 and is sponsored by NTT Data Corporation. TOMOYO Linux focuses on the behaviour of a system, allowing each process to declare behaviours and resources needed to achieve its purpose. It can be used as a system analysis tool as well as an access restriction tool.
The security goal of TOMOYO Linux is to provide "MAC that covers practical requirements for most users and keeps usable for most administrators". TOMOYO Linux is not a tool or security professional but for average users and administrators.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Branches of development
- 3 TOMOYO Linux 1.x
- 4 AKARI
- 5 TOMOYO Linux 2.x
- 6 Usage
- 7 Tips and tricks
- 8 Troubleshooting
- 9 References
- 10 See also
TOMOYO Linux attempts to make the system where everything is prearranged in an easy to understand way:
- Make all access requests that will occur at least once during the lifetime of the kernel known in advance
- Allow the administrator to write a policy that only allows expected and desirable access requests
Unlike AppArmor, TOMOYO Linux is intended to protect the whole system from attackers exploiting vulnerabilities in applications. TOMOYO Linux addresses this threat by recording the behaviour of all applications in the test environment and then forcing all applications to act within these recorded behaviours in the production environment.
TOMOYO Linux is not for users wanting ready-made policy files supplied by others. It involves creating policy from scratch, aided by the "learning mode" which can automatically generate policy files with necessary and sufficient permissions for a specific system. TOMOYO Linux reports what is happening within the Linux system and can therefore be used as a system analysis tool. It resembles strace and reports what is being executed by each program and what files/networks are accessed.
Branches of development
TOMOYO Linux 1.x is the original branch of development. TOMOYO Linux was first released on 11th November 2005. It was implemented as a patch that can be applied to the Linux kernel and is still in active development. It can coexist with other security modules such as SELinux, SMACK and AppArmor.
TOMOYO Linux 2.x is the Linux mainline kernel branch of development. In June 2009, TOMOYO was merged into the Linux kernel version 2.6.30 and it uses standard Linux Security Module (LSM) hooks. However, the LSM hooks must be extended further in order to port the full MAC functionality of TOMOYO Linux into the Linux kernel. Thus, it does not yet provide equal functionality with the 1.x branch of development. This chart compares the differences between each branch.
AKARI is based on the TOMOYO Linux 1.x branch and is implemented as a Loadable Kernel Module (LKM). It therefore has the advantage of not requiring the user to patch and recompile the kernel. This table provides a comprehensive comparison of AKARI with the TOMOYO Linux 1.x and 2.x branches.
TOMOYO Linux 1.x
Implementing TOMOYO Linux 1.x using a kernel patched with ccs-patch provides the full functionality obtainable from the TOMOYO Linux project. However, implementation of this branch requires the most hurdles to be overcome, as the kernel must be patched with ccs-patch and subsequently recompiled.
There does not currently exist a package in the AUR. Consult this wiki page for information on compiling your own kernel.
Limitations of AKARI
AKARI has the advantage of not requiring kernel recompilation. If using the TOMOYO Linux project purely for system analysis, then AKARI is the easiest method of achieving this. If using the TOMOYO Linux project for system restriction, it is a minimal effort way to gain most of the functionality of the TOMOYO Linux 1.x branch. However, there are a few limitations that must be considered:
- It depends on the kernel version and configuration provided by the distribution:
CONFIG_SECURITY=y [required] CONFIG_KALLSYMS=y [required] CONFIG_PROC_FS=y [required] CONFIG_MODULES=y [required] CONFIG_SECURITY_PATH=y [optional: for using absolute pathnames] CONFIG_SECURITY_NETWORK=y [optional: for providing network restriction]
- The restriction of a few advanced networking operations are limited or unavailable due to the absence of required LSM hooks
- Restricting use of capabilities is not possible
- Looking up per-task variables is slower as they are managed outside "struct task_struct" in order to keep KABI unchanged. However, this should not be noticeable for the typical end-user as performance decrease by pathname based permission checking is dominant
This table provides a comprehensive comparison of AKARI with the TOMOYO Linux 1.x and 2.x branches.
The bootloader configuration must be changed in order to activate the AKARI:
title Arch Linux root (hd0,0) kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/sda1 ro init=/sbin/ccs-init initrd /boot/kernel26.img
The policy must first be initialized:
# /usr/lib/ccs/init_policy --module_name=akari
The policy files are saved in the /etc/css/ directory
TOMOYO Linux 2.x
Limitations of TOMOYO Linux 2.x
The implementation of TOMOYO Linux 2.x into the Linux mainline kernel is not yet complete but is still effective for MAC of files. It does not yet support the restriction of:
- file attribute and namespace manipulation
- environment variables
- local port reservation
This chart has a more comprehensive comparison of the differences between each branch of development.
TOMOYO Linux 2.x is part of the Linux mainline kernel and, in addition to those previously mentioned, requires the following kernel configuration:
If the kernel supports TOMOYO Linux 2.x, then only the userspace tools need to be installed.
- For kernel versions between 2.6.30 and 2.6.35, tomoyo-tools 2.2.x should be installed. A package is available on the AUR
- For kernel versions 2.6.36 and above, tomoyo-tools 2.3.x should be installed. A package is available on the AUR
The policy must first be initialized:
The policy files are saved in the /etc/tomoyo/ directory
It is important to consult the relevant documentation in order to use TOMOYO Linux or AKARI effectively:
Run the policy editor to begin editing. If using TOMOYO Linux 1.x or AKARI then ccs-tools should be used:
# /usr/sbin/ccs-editpolicy /etc/ccs/
If using TOMOYO Linux 2.x then tomoyo-tools should be used:
# /usr/sbin/tomoyo-editpolicy /etc/tomoyo/
Instructions on how to use the policy editor can be found here:
- How to use the policy editor for AKARI
- How to use the policy editor for TOMOYO Linux 1.8
- How to use the policy editor for TOMOYO Linux 2.3
As the system runs, TOMOYO Linux will create domains and add them to the tree. The access analysis/restriction in TOMOYO Linux is applied via domains. Every process belongs to a single domain and the process will transit to a different domain whenever it executes a program. The name of a domain is a concatenated string expression for the process execution history. For example, the name of the domain which the kernel belongs to is "<kernel>"; the name of domain which /sbin/init invoked by the kernel belongs to is "<kernel> /sbin/init"; the name of domain which /etc/rc.d/rc invoked by the /sbin/init belongs to is "<kernel> /sbin/init /etc/rc.d/rc". You can suppress or initialize domain transitions as needed.
Profiles can be assigned to each domain. There are four default profiles:
|Disabled||Works as if regular kernel.|
|Learning||Do not reject an access request if it violates policy. Append the request to policy.|
|Permissive||Do not reject an access request if it violates policy. Do not append the request to policy.|
|Enforcing||Reject an access request if it violates policy. Do not append the request to policy.|
The learning profile can be used to analyse the system or a specific application. Once all of the desired access requests of a domain have been identified, the policy for that domain can be edited as required before selecting the enforcing profile. This can be done for any and all domains from the start of system boot.
Tips and tricks
- TOMOYO Linux SourceForge page
- TOMOYO Linux Wiki
- AKARI SourceForge page
- AKARI documentation
- TOMOYO Linux 1.8.x documentation
- TOMOYO Linux 2.3.x documentation
- TOMOYO Linux Security Goal
- Policy sample
- TOMOYO Linux on the Embedded Linux Wiki
- Presentation slides from PacSec 2007