[llvm-dev] [RFC] LLVM Security Group and Process

JF Bastien via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu Jun 11 08:39:34 PDT 2020

Hi security-minded folks!

I published this RFC quite a while ago, and have received good feedback from y’all, as well as enthusiasm from a few folks whose distribution would benefit from having a security process for LLVM. Arnaud and the Board approved the patch <https://reviews.llvm.org/D70326#2005279> a few weeks ago, I’ll therefore commit it in the next few days and start moving the missing parts forward.

Some folks have self-identified as being interested in being part of the original Security Group. Let’s take this opportunity to hear from anyone else who’s interested: please speak up!



> On Nov 15, 2019, at 10:58 AM, JF Bastien via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> Hello compiler enthusiasts,
> The Apple LLVM team would like to propose that a new a security process and an associated private LLVM Security Group be created under the umbrella of the LLVM project.
> A draft proposal for how we could organize such a group and what its process could be is available on Phabricator <https://reviews.llvm.org/D70326>. The proposal starts with a list of goals for the process and Security Group, repeated here:
> The LLVM Security Group has the following goals:
> Allow LLVM contributors and security researchers to disclose security-related issues affecting the LLVM project to members of the LLVM community.
> Organize fixes, code reviews, and release management for said issues.
> Allow distributors time to investigate and deploy fixes before wide dissemination of vulnerabilities or mitigation shortcomings.
> Ensure timely notification and release to vendors who package and distribute LLVM-based toolchains and projects.
> Ensure timely notification to users of LLVM-based toolchains whose compiled code is security-sensitive, through the CVE process <https://cve.mitre.org/>.
> We’re looking for answers to the following questions:
> On this list: Should we create a security group and process?
> On this list: Do you agree with the goals listed in the proposal?
> On this list: at a high-level, what do you think should be done differently, and what do you think is exactly right in the draft proposal?
> On the Phabricator code review: going into specific details, what do you think should be done differently, and what do you think is exactly right in the draft proposal?
> On this list: to help understand where you’re coming from with your feedback, it would be helpful to state how you personally approach this issue:
> Are you an LLVM contributor (individual or representing a company)?
> Are you involved with security aspects of LLVM (if so, which)?
> Do you maintain significant downstream LLVM changes?
> Do you package and deploy LLVM for others to use (if so, to how many people)?
> Is your LLVM distribution based on the open-source releases?
> How often do you usually deploy LLVM?
> How fast can you deploy an update?
> Does your LLVM distribution handle untrusted inputs, and what kind?
> What’s the threat model for your LLVM distribution?
> Other open-source projects have security-related groups and processes. They structure their group very differently from one another. This proposal borrows from some of these projects’ processes. A few examples:
> https://webkit.org/security-policy/ <https://webkit.org/security-policy/>
> https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src/+/lkgr/docs/security/faq.md <https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src/+/lkgr/docs/security/faq.md>
> https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security <https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security>
> https://www.openbsd.org/security.html <https://www.openbsd.org/security.html>
> https://security-team.debian.org/security_tracker.html <https://security-team.debian.org/security_tracker.html>
> https://www.python.org/news/security/ <https://www.python.org/news/security/>When providing feedback, it would be great to hear if you’ve dealt with these or other projects’ processes, what works well, and what can be done better.
> I’ll go first in answering my own questions above:
> Yes! We should create a security group and process.
> We agree with the goals listed.
> We think the proposal is exactly right, but would like to hear the community’s opinions.
> Here’s how we approach the security of LLVM:
> I contribute to LLVM as an Apple employee.
> I’ve been involved in a variety of LLVM security issues, from automatic variable initialization to security-related diagnostics, as well as deploying these mitigations to internal codebases.
> We maintain significant downstream changes.
> We package and deploy LLVM, both internally and externally, for a variety of purposes, including the clang, Swift, and mobile GPU shader compilers.
> Our LLVM distribution is not directly derived from the open-source release. In all cases, all non-upstream public patches for our releases are available in repository branches at https://github.com/apple <https://github.com/apple>.
> We have many deployments of LLVM whose release schedules vary significantly. The LLVM build deployed as part of Xcode historically has one major release per year, followed by roughly one minor release every 2 months. Other releases of LLVM are also security-sensitive and don’t follow the same schedule.
> This depends on which release of LLVM is affected.
> Yes, our distribution sometimes handles untrusted input.
> The threat model is highly variable depending on the particular language front-ends being considered.
> Apple is involved with a variety of open-source projects and their disclosures. For example, we frequently work with the WebKit community to handle security issues through their process.
> Thanks,
> JF
> _______________________________________________
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> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
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