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RE: [Xen-devel] Regarding Xen security....


> -----Original Message-----
> From: xen-devel-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:xen-devel-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
> Praveen Kushwaha
> Sent: 12 January 2007 10:13
> To: xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [Xen-devel] Regarding Xen security....
> Hi Sir,
>              I have a question regarding the security of Xen. 
> What are the security threats in with Intel VT-x.

Suppose we (as a community) did know of any "exploits" in the Intel or
AMD virtualization technologies, would it make sense to distribute it to

As far as I'm aware (and, although I work for AMD, I can't say I know
EVERYTHING, so there may be things that I'm not aware of), AMD SVM or
Intel VT-x doesn't add anything that increases security threats - in
fact they both add a level of extra security, as you can prevent the
software in the OS from actually touching hardware that you don't
explicitly give to the guest. 

Of course, broken kernel or other software will still potentially allow
a user to gain access to the guest-domain - Xen doesn't really fix
kernel security in general (it may "accidentally", but it's not there
for that purpose). Obviously, for any virtualized environment, the
security of the "host domain" (Dom0 in Xen) is critical to ensure that
the other domains remain secure - so firewalling or otherwise preventing
"outside access" to Dom0 is key to ensuring that the guest domains are
secure - but that's got nothing to do with any of the Virtualization
Technology features in the processor. 

For further improved security, both AMD and Intel have features that are
either already in the processor (AMD SVM) or planned for near-time
release (Intel's LaGrande/Trusted eXecution Technology/TXT), which allow
the execution environment to be checked before it's loaded, to ensure
that the host domain and it's relevant components are indeed what the
system owner/user expects them to be - and once that's secure, you can
then verify (or measure as it's called in security circles) the kernel
loaded as DomU. 

> Thanks,
> Praveen Kushwaha                                              
> ______________________________________________________________
> _______________________________
> NEC HCL System Technologies Ltd., 4th Floor, Tower B, Logix 
> Techno  Park, Noida | Tel: 120 436 6777 Extn 748

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