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From Peter Firmstone <j...@zeus.net.au>
Subject Re: Security
Date Wed, 18 Feb 2015 12:12:37 GMT
Continuing on ...

Lets say for example, we have a secure OS and we provide a service on a 
public port and we have a determined attacker attempting to use 
deserialization to take over our system or bring it to its knees with 
denial of service.

We know this is relatively easy with standard ObjectInputStream.

When we invoke a remote method, the return value is what you call a root 
object, that is it's the root of a serialized object tree, originating 
through the root object, via its fields.

Most Serializable objects have invariants.

We can consider the java serialization stream format as a string of 
commands that allows creation of any object, bypassing all levels of 
visibility.  That is an attacker can create package private classes or 
private internal classes, provided they implement Serializable.  So 
think of Serializable as a public constructor that lacks a context 
representing the attacker.  That's right, there is no context 
representing the remote endpoint in the thread call stack.

Now we can place restrictions on the stream, such as a requirement that 
the stream is reset before a limit on the number of objects deserialized 
is reached.  We can also place a limit on the count of all array 
elements read in from the stream, until the stream is reset.  These 
measures ensure the stream cannot go on forever, they also prevent stack 
overflow and out of memory errors.  At some point the caller will regain 
control of the stream without running out of resources.

But getting back to the previous problem, the attacker has command line 
access to create any Serializable object.

Now most objects have invariants that should be satisfied, for correct 
functional state, but a major problem with Serialization is it creates 
an instance, using the first zero arg constructor of the first non 
serializable superclass.  Yep that's right, that could be ClassLoader, 
you clever attacker you!  The poor old object hasn't even had a chance 
to check it's invariants and it's game over, that's not fair!

This will never do, I had to create a new contract for atomic object 

   1. The class must implement Serializable (can be inherited) AND one
      of the following conditions must be met:
   2. The class must be annotated with @AtomicSerial OR
   3. The class must be stateless and can be created by calling
      class.newInstance() OR
   4. The class must have DeSerializationPermission

Now if the class is annotated with @AtomicSerial, it must also have a 
constructor signature that has public or default visibility:

SomeClass(GetArg arg) throws IOException{
     // The first thing I must do is to call a static method that checks 
invariants, before calling a superclass constructor, the static method 
should return the argument for another constructor.

Some simple rules for our object input stream:

   1. Though shalt not publish a reference to a partially constructed
   2. Though shalt not publish a reference if an object fails
      construction, where readObject, readObjectNoData and readResolve
      methods are considered to be constructors for the purpose of
      deserialization of conventional Serializable objects.
   3. Though shalt not attempt to construct a Serializable object that
      doesn't have an @AtomicSerial annotation, or has serial fields
      (state) and doesn't have DeSerializationPermission.
   4. Only call a protected constructor if the class doesn't implement
      @AtomicSerial and has DeSerializationPermission.
   5. Do not honour the standard java Serialization construction
      contract (not all Serializable classes can be constructed even if
      they have DeSerializationPermission).
   6. If a standard Serializable class has DeSerializationPermission for
      it to be constructed it must have a zero arg constructor or a
      constructor that accepts null object arguments and default
      primitive values.
   7. If an any object in a serialized object graph fails it's invariant
      checks, deserialization of the object graph fails at that point
      and control is returned to the caller, by way of an
      InvalidObjectException (a child class of IOException).
   8. Honour the standard java serialization stream protocol.
   9. Count number of objects received and throw a
      StreamCorruptedException if limit is exceeded.
  10. Count number of array elements received and throw
      StreamCorruptedException if limit is exceeded.
  11. readResolve() can be called on @AtomicSerial instances but,
      readObject() is never called and neither is readObjectNoData().

Obligations of our object output stream:

   1. Reset the stream before the limit is reached.
   2. Replace java collections and maps with safe @AtomicSerial
      implementations, it is the developers obligation to replace them
      with their preferred implementations during construction, these
      are functional but are only immutable containers for keys, values
      and comparators.
   3. Honour java's serial stream protocol.

Some simple rules for developers implementing @AtomicSerial:

   1. Check all invariants from a static method called by your class
      constructor prior to calling a superclass constructor.
   2. Check types of values in collections and maps and keys in maps.
   3. Check field types.
   4. Copy or clone arrays and collections.
   5. Do not call a super class constructor until all invariants have
      been checked.
   6. Handle failed invariants by throwing an InvalidObjectException,
      again make sure you did not call the super class constructor.
   7. Implement the interface ReadObject if you want to duplicate
      existing readObject method functionality, this will allow you to
      communicate with the stream prior to calling a super class
      constructor, so you can check invariants.  Annotate a static
      method that returns an instance of ReadObject with @ReadInput.
   8. Your ReadObject instance can be retrieved by from GetArg, your
      ReadObject instance will have read the stream prior to your
      constructor having been called.
   9. Don't call defaultReadObject() from your ReadObject implementation!
  10. Check all fields can be retrieved, prior to calling a super class
  11. Beware of the implicit super class constructor.
  12. Enum, and Proxy instances are considered secure, don't bother
      subclassing proxy, your class won't be deserialized.
  13. InvocationHandler's need to implement @AtomicSerial.

Note an object instance is not created until the default constructor in 
java.lang.Object is called.

Golden rules:

   1. Do not create arrays or collections blindly by reading in an
      integer or long, length or size from the stream to pass as an
      argument to an array or collection constructor.
   2. Let the stream be responsible for array creation.
   3. Clone or copy arrays and collections.
   4. Clone or copy mutable objects, these may be shared by other
      objects in the stream.
   5. Don't grant DeSerializationPermission unless you're really really
      sure you know what your doing, you must have access to the source
      code of the object you want to deserialize, you must make sure it
      is secure, if in doubt ask first.

Now before anyone goes off thinking "Oh no I don't need this 
functionality, do I have to use it?"  The answer is no, it will be set 
via configuration constraints.  If an endpoint doesn't support 
AtomicValidation, it will prevent ObjectInputStream creation.  If an 
object in the stream doesn't support it, deserialization will fail and 
control will be returned to the caller.

Other than configuration, this is invisible to clients, only service api 
parameters and return values and private service classes, such as smart 
proxy's and proxy verifiers need implement it.

Note: I have tested both Reggie and Outrigger, standard serial form is 
preserved for all objects, all tests pass with AtomicValidation.YES enabled.

Clients will be able to be configured with InvocationConstraints; 
AtomicValidation.YES, Integrity.YES and Confidentiality.YES.

The client can also require DownloadPermission by specifying either of 
the properties:




If the first property is specified, it isn't required to be loaded by 
the system ClassLoader.

The next step is to provide a service interface for a bootstrap proxy to 
return a smart proxy and to define a suitable Entry for the bootstrap 
proxy to declare the interfaces it's smart proxy implements.

Clients can then lookup bootstrap proxy, based on the Entry, 
authenticate the bootstrap proxy and grant it DownloadPermission 
dynamically.  The client will then need to prepare the smart proxy, 
placing constraints on it.

While the bootstrap proxy should have an AtomicVerification.YES 
constraint, the endpoint for the smart proxy doesn't have to, so after 
trust has been established, it is possible to run with standard 
serialization.  In this case the smart proxy itself must be serializable 
using @AtomicSerial, but objects serialized over the smart proxy's 
endpoint's need not.  I've also have made it possible for proxy 
codebases to declare the permissions they require so these can be 
granted dynamically after trust is established.

This would also provide the client with delayed unmarshalling 
functionality, while preserving the standard ServiceRegistrar interface, 
which can be managed using ServiceDiscoveryManager, and ServiceItemFilter.

In other words, this additional functionality requires minimal effort on 
behalf of the developer, while those who don't need it can remain 
blissfully ignorant and implement it later if they want to.

I haven't uploaded to svn, would you like to see some patches?



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