Mill Computing, Inc. Forums The Mill Architecture Inter-process Communication Reply To: Inter-process Communication

Ivan Godard
Keymaster
Post count: 629

A portal causes turf switch to a turf id contained in the portal structure. There are barriers to the vulnerability you suggest.

If the attacker gave the victim a code pointer that falsely purports to be a portal and the victim called it then the victim would still be in his original turf, executing the code referenced by the passed pointer. However, the victim must have execute rights for any code, so the substitute code must be executable by the victim’s turf; it can’t be attacker code because the victim does not have execute rights to attacker code. And the attacker cannot blindly give such rights to the victim; there is a check so that a suspicious victim must accept a proposed grant before it takes effect.

Thus the target address must thus be a valid entry point in the victims own code. Of course, getting the victim to call one of his own functions when he didn’t intend to is problematic too. There is a check, a bit more general than you suggest, that an untrusting program can use for this. It returns, for a given address, what permissions the caller has at that address. That check is necessary in a number of ways, but seems inelegant and we have been exploring alternatives, but with nothing entirely satisfactory yet.

Second, the portal structure itself is set up by trusted code, which always sets the associated turf to that of the thread creating the portal. That is, you can create portals into yourself, but not into anyone else.