[Pkg-gnupg-maint] Bug#598471: Bug#598471: using insecure memory on GNU/kFreeBSD

Werner Koch wk at gnupg.org
Sat Nov 13 19:04:52 UTC 2010

On Sat, 13 Nov 2010 14:58, rmh at debian.org said:

> I disagree.  This puts an additional burden on the user.  Adding SUID

I can't see why encrypting the swap puts an additional burden on the
user or on the machine.  If you need to swap/page something you are in
either of these situations:

 - The process is idle for a long time.  Thus there should be no burden
   to the user regarding the extra time it takes for the system to swap
   it out.  The system is anyway under some stress.

 - There is a severe memory resource shortage and due to the ongoing
   swap operations in many processes, the system performance is I/O
   bounded and the CPU has enough time to do that little symmetric

Even without having done any benchmarks I'd enbale swap encryption by

> bit doesn't seem like a security problem.  Gnupg drops privileges as
> soon as it's not needed anymore, and upstream recommends this in
> their FAQ.

Ahemm, the FAQ.  Well that beast is old and hopefully the only
unmaintained part of GnuPG.

The background for the SUID stuff is that back in 1998 encrypted swap
partitions were not widely available and disk encryption on GNU/Linux
was not available at all (due to US export restrictions).

The manual even states (at least I hope) that you should set the SUID
bit only if you see the warning, on modern Linux kernels there is no
need for it because any process may mlock a few pages which is

With an encrypted swap partition all stuff could be much much easier.



Die Gedanken sind frei.  Ausnahmen regelt ein Bundesgesetz.

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