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tux2015
n00b
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Joined: 31 May 2014
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:34 pm    Post subject: Isolate insecure GUI application Reply with quote

What are the possibilities to isolate constantly running application so it doesn't have access to user's files. For example torrent client or IM client are typical examples of constantly running applications receiving input from network. Giving the fact that I constantly see GLSAs related to pidgin I would like to isolate it.

I currently run such applications with different user privileges. I mean `useradd -m -G users pidgin` and than to run pidgin I open console and run ` su - pidgin ; pidgin `. I am wondering how secure this scheme is. After typing `su - pidgin` I can type CTRL-D to change user back. Is this possible for code inside application ran this way to do this?

Also what other possibilities exist? I heard about sandbox? Is this useful for this purpose?
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Tractor Girl
Apprentice
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Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

X is a pretty ugly thing, so there's always a risk. Using Grsecurity's RBAC would be certainly a step into right direction.
http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Hardened/Grsecurity2_Quickstart#RBAC
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Grsecurity/The_RBAC_System
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Hu
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Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 13504

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo's build sandbox could be abused for this purpose, but is not a good fit. When you type ^D, you are exiting the shell running as the pidgin user. The previous process then resumes control of the foreground. The pidgin process could kill your pidgin user shell, but that would not grant it permission to send keystrokes to the previous process. In my opinion, the biggest weakness you have not addressed is the extent to which X applications can interfere with each other. To counter this, run pidgin on a separate X server viewed by a trusted viewer process.
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