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Permissions checks for range-type support functions

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Jeff Davis <pgsql(at)j-davis(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org
Subject: Permissions checks for range-type support functions
Date: 2011-11-22 23:38:03
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
It strikes me that we are rather lacking in $SUBJECT.  There are a
couple of distinct issues:

1. Since no permissions checks are applied at runtime, a nefarious
person could bypass ACL_EXECUTE checks for any function that happens
to match the signature for a subtype_diff function.  Just create a
range type that specifies that function as subtype_diff, and think
up an index operation that will call it with the arguments you want.
In principle one could bypass permissions checks on canonical functions
as well, though in practice I think that's uninteresting because of the
restrictions on the function signature.

In the analogous situation for base types, we don't worry about this
because only superusers can define base types; we just presume (and
document) that the superuser is effectively granting public access
permissions on all functions referenced in a base type definition.
This will clearly not fly for range types.

The nearest analogy I can see for non-superusers is use of functions
within aggregate definitions.  There, we check that the aggregate
definer has permission to call the referenced function at aggregate
definition time, and then recheck it at the start of any query that
uses the aggregate.  (So, the aggregate definer can give away permission
to call the target function, but he could do that anyway by creating
a SECURITY DEFINER wrapper function.)

For the range-type support functions, it would be simple enough to check
call permission at range-type definition time.  But I really don't want
to put in a run-time check, because there doesn't seem to be a very
practical way to do it less often than every call, and besides that it's
not very clear who to blame an index operation on.  Is it good enough to
test this only at range-type creation time?  The implication of course is
that you might not be able to revoke execute permission from a bad guy,
short of dropping your function.  This might be all right given the
relatively narrow cross-section of functions that could be called this

2. The ANALYZE option is flat out dangerous, because it allows any
function with the signature "f(internal) returns bool" to be called as
though it's a typanalyze function.  There are a couple of such functions
in the catalogs already, and either of them will probably crash the
backend if invoked as typanalyze on a range column.

Again, this isn't a hazard for the existing use with base types,
because only superusers (presumed to be responsible adults) can
define base types.  But for range types it's an easy DOS attack for
less responsible persons.

I'm inclined to think that the right solution for this one is to drop
the ANALYZE option altogether, and just have DefineRange automatically
install a system-wide typanalyze function for ranges.  Under what
circumstances is range-type-specific knowledge going to be needed for
typanalyze, anyway?  Especially since the functions that would use the
results will be system-wide selectivity functions associated with the
ANYRANGE operators.

			regards, tom lane


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