[tor-talk] Tor Browser Bundle 2.2.x Ubuntu AppArmor Profile
number6 at elitemail.org
Sun Feb 12 23:41:49 UTC 2012
I've spent some time creating Ubuntu AppArmor profiles for the Tor
Browser Bundle and its components and related apps. I've based them upon
publicly available profiles that needed some dusting off, updating, and
adapting to Tor.
For the unfamiliar, AppArmor is a least privilege access control system
that attempts to prevent exploited applications from accessing system
resources that they shouldn't normally need. It is similar to SELinux,
but it is much easier to create, understand and modify AppArmor profiles
than SELinux policies.
The profiles are not perfect, and they really need the new features in
the AppArmor dev series to make them awesome. In my opinion, the biggest
advantage of non-dev AppArmor right now is that it gives you the ability
to watch your logs for audit messages that could indicate
botched+blocked exploit attempts or bad behavior, and to protect your
personal files from exploited applications.
For information on working with AppArmor in Ubuntu (including how to
load these profiles), see: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AppArmor
Here's a rundown of the policies I've created and their security
properties. The profiles themselves are at the pastebin links.
1. Tor Browser Bundle 2.2.x Profile: http://pastebin.com/La6C8tZJ
This profile isolates Tor, Vidalia, and Firefox to least privilege.
However, some AppArmor shortcomings mean that it is not as good as it
could be. According to the AppArmor wiki, it looks like the features we
really want won't be available until AppArmor 2.8 or 3.0.
In particular, the profile will *not* have the ability to restrict
connections from Firefox to prevent non-Tor connections until AppArmor
supports more rule commands. Obviously this is a big issue if the prime
goal of an exploit is to learn your IP address, and if bugs of this sort
still exist in Firefox. Until AppArmor provides the ability to write
rules like 'network tcp connect from 127.0.0.1 on lo to 127.0.1:9050'
or even just 'network tcp dst 127.0.0.1', any arbitrary code exploit
against Vidalia or Firefox can still connect to arbitrary IPs outside of
for more details.
Additionally, Tor and Firefox are still free to perform UDP datagram
traffic, due to the desire on my part to squelch the audit log traffic
down to a minimum. (The AppArmor in Ubuntu currently has a bug that
causes it to always log UDP violations, even if you tell it to silence
with a 'deny'). Since I think watching audit logs closely is one of the
most useful properties of AppArmor, and since noise makes this
substantially harder, the profiles currently allow UDP.
Despite these major issues, the profile is significantly better than
nothing. The main benefit you get is that all file read and write access
is restricted to ~/Downloads and ~/Public, and TBB can't launch outside
apps, use ptrace, access /dev/, /tmp/, or interact with the desktop.
As a result, you will get a lot of permission denied errors from Firefox
when trying to download and upload files, because the TBB folder
defaults are screwy. Click through the errors and navigate to
~/Downloads/. Or change the directory in the AppArmor profile to
something you like.
2. Tor Profile: http://pastebin.com/u2AXYWLJ
A separate profile for the system Tor binary, which some might find
useful for proxying non-browser activity.
3. Vidalia Profile: http://pastebin.com/4ZKHnVRY
Same deal for the system Vidalia binary.
4. Pidgin Profile: http://pastebin.com/0Ycn4Bgy
This profile is based on the profile at
but with some additional restrictions.
In particular, I forbid ptrace. It was explicitly allowed by the profile
and still occasionally attempted by my client, but did not seem needed
to load plugins or otherwise function.
I also removed access to a lot of X window resources, and restricted
homedir access in a similar manner as to the TBB Firefox profile.
If you're interested in editing these profiles, see
If you know basic UNIX, AppArmor is surprisingly easy to pick up and
customize with the documentation in-hand. Please let me know if you
make any improvements or figure out workarounds for current limitations.
number6 at elitemail.org
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