Request to upgrade DJango

Adam Young ayoung at
Fri Apr 20 16:16:34 UTC 2012

On 04/20/2012 10:47 AM, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 09:42:26AM -0400, Adam Young wrote:
>> One caveat.   Any DJango app (Probably most Python wsgi apps, actually) is
>> going to give an AVC Denial warning upon startup.
> Only a denial?  ;-)  Do you have selinux in permissive?
In enforcing it still gives a denial....

>> DJango imports Python's UUID
>> module which in turn imports ctypes.  Ctypes does dynamic code generation,
>> specifically by writing a file andd then trying to execute it, which, as you
>> can imagine,  is a pretty big security hole.  Let the wsgi community know that,
>> until we have that fixed,  we should not attempt to get rid of the AVC denial
>> warning message, but instead should push on the Python upstread to get a fix
>> in.  Yes, David Malcolm is aware of it.
> That's sorta a duplicate of this bug;
> (AFAICS, they're the same, but yours is against RHEL and mine is against
> Fedora).

Yes,  they are the same,  but mine has to do with the fact that it is 
part of the core library calling into ctypes.  They can be addressed and 
fixed separately.

> I discussed it with dmalcolm when I opened it in 2010 -- it's not easily
> solvable.
> * By its nature, libffi needs to generate code that it then executes.
I think this is the crux of the matter.  I do not think that libffi 
needs to write this code out to disk to read it back in.  It would be 
better if it held it in memory, but even that would probably be 
disallowed by SELinux.  I suspect that there are better ways to do this 
form of dynamic binding that does not require code generation.

However,  for libraries shipped with Fedora,  there should be no need to 
use ctypes.

> * Because python is interpreted, selinux has no transition to tell it that
>    this is a specific program that needs to be able to write and execute
>    specific files
> * Because the python interpreter is being embedded inside of apache, selinux
>    has no way of differentiating it from any other piece of apache.
> The way out that I suggested in 2010 was to have a search path.  Python
> would loop through the search path to find which directory it could use to
> write its temporary files for ffi.  We'd need a way to set this path when
> applications start up (maybe in their httpd.conf) as mod_wsgi allows
> applications to run as different users than apache (which means that each
> wsgi application might need a different ffi directory). The sysadmin or wsgi
> application package would be responsible for creating the ffi directory and
> setting the appropriate selinux context on it.
> dmalcolm might not have liked that idea because of all the visible changes
> it would have to do (configuring the directories to search).  Or it might
> just have been too much time to expend.  I'm not sure.
> btw, the workaround is to set httpd_tmp_exec -->  on
> -Toshio
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