Re: [Vserver] Issues of Security

From: Oliver Welter <>
Date: Wed 26 Apr 2006 - 07:12:23 BST
Message-Id: <>

Hi Manish,

> Has anybody done any work or study on security of vserver. What are the
> possible security downsides and possible areas of attack on vserver both
> from other vservers on the same host and from external agent. Any pointers
> on this would be very helpful. Thanks,

I havent done a study, but from the basic idea behind vserver following
issues are relevant:
* if we assume, the context isolation works without errors, the risk for
guest - guest attacks is equal to physical independent server
* for non root users it is impossible to attack a guest from the host side
* it IS possible - and with a faulty setup very likely - that a raising
need for ressources (IO, mem, network) of a guest affects the other
guests - as they share the same physikal maschine. The scheduler concept
might help here
*If there is a flaw in the isolation code of vserver OR someone manages
to exploit a kernel bug to load some modules from inside a guest, all of
the above is no longer true. I dont know if anybody here has practical
results on this

As I dont know what you mean with "external agents" I cant help you on
this. If you simply mean attacks from outside, vserver is not more
vulnerable like any other system. A bad setup of some services might
enable an attacker to take over the guest with root privs, but even in
this case he will not have that much fun, as a lot of things are not
allowed inside a guest. E.g. he cant spawn new IPs, compromise your
kernel, etc. This behaviour can be improved by tailoring the
capabilities of the guest.



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