Just-In-Time compilation in ChromeOS
This document covers the requirements for Just-in-time (JIT) compilation on ChromeOS. These requirements ensure that JIT engines don't undermine the security guarantees of ChromeOS.
The main problem with JIT-ing is that it bypasses Verified boot. The objective of ChromeOS’s Verified boot is to ensure that all code executing on the device has been verified as coming from Google. Code generated on-the-fly by a JIT engine cannot be verified as coming from Google, because it doesn't exist at the time the ChromeOS image is signed.
This is most clearly shown by the fact that JIT-ing requires memory regions to be marked as both writable and executable -- the very thing that would defeat Verified boot. If the process writing into these memory regions were compromised, or if another process gained access to these memory regions, Verified boot could be bypassed by just writing to these memory regions and then jumping to this code.
- The JIT engine should be embedded into the executable (e.g. linked as a library) rather than being a standalone interpreter present on the system as an executable.
- The input provided to the JIT engine has to come from a partition covered by
- The rootfs.
- A component downloaded via component updater or the DLC infrastructure.
- The verification of the provenance of the input should be done on a file descriptor and not on a file path, since file paths can be modified and the checks can be raced.
- More concretely, check that the
st_devmember of the struct populated by the
fstat()syscall, both on the file descriptor of the input, and on a file descriptor for the root path "/", are the same. This is based on the fact that files on the rootfs are on the partition mounted at “/”.
- Ideally, modify the JIT engine to remove as much system interaction functionality as possible: if the JIT engine has a way to execute other binaries, disable that.