As I've (in a very high level) described capabilities and talked a bit on how to work with them, I started with a small overview of file-related capabilities. So next up are process-related capabilities (note, this isn't a conform terminology, more some categorization that I do myself).

CAP_IPC_LOCK
Allow the process to lock memory
CAP_IPC_OWNER
Bypass the permission checks for operations on System V IPC objects (similar to the CAP_DAC_OVERRIDE for files)
CAP_KILL
Bypass permission checks for sending signals
CAP_SETUID
Allow the process to make arbitrary manipulations of process UIDs and create forged UID when passing socket credentials via UNIX domain sockets
CAP_SETGID
Same, but then for GIDs
CAP_SYS_NICE

This capability governs several permissions/abilities, namely to allow the process to

- change the nice value of itself and other processes - set real-time scheduling priorities for itself, and set scheduling policies and priorities for arbitrary processes - set the CPU affinity for arbitrary processes - apply migrate_pages to arbitrary processes and allow processes to be migrated to arbitrary nodes - apply move_pages to arbitrary processes - use the MPOL_MF_MOVE_ALL flag with mbind() and move_pages()

The abilities related to page moving, migration and nodes is of importance for NUMA systems, not something most workstations have or need.

CAP_SYS_PACCT
Use acct(), to enable or disable system resource accounting for the process
CAP_SYS_PTRACE
Allow the process to trace arbitrary processes using ptrace(), apply get_robust_list() against arbitrary processes and inspect processes using kcmp().
CAP_SYS_RAWIO
Allow the process to perform I/O port operations, access /proc/kcore and employ the FIBMAP ioctl() operation.

Capabilities such as CAP_KILL and CAP_SETUID are very important to govern correctly, but this post would be rather dull (given that the definitions of the above capabilities can be found from the manual page) if I wouldn't talk a bit more about its feasibility. Take a look at the following C application code:

#include <errno.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <sys/capability.h>
#include <sys/prctl.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <unistd.h>

int main(int argc, char ** argv) {
  printf("cap_setuid and cap_setgid: %d\n", prctl(PR_CAPBSET_READ, CAP_SETUID|CAP_SETGID, 0, 0, 0));
  printf(" %s\n", cap_to_text(cap_get_file(argv[0]), NULL));
  printf(" %s\n", cap_to_text(cap_get_proc(), NULL));
  if (setresuid(0, 0, 0));
    printf("setresuid(): %s\n", strerror(errno));
  execve("/bin/sh", NULL, NULL);
}

At first sight, it looks like an application to get root privileges (setresuid()) and then spawn a shell. If that application would be given CAP_SETUID and CAP_SETGID effectively, it would allow anyone who executed it to automatically get a root shell, wouldn't it?

$ gcc -o test -lcap test.c
# setcap cap_setuid,cap_setgid+ep test
$ ./test
cap_setuid and cap_setgid: 1
 = cap_setgid,cap_setuid+ep
 =
setresuid() failed: Operation not permitted

So what happened? After all, the two capabilities are set with the +ep flags given. Then why aren't these capabilities enabled? Well, this binary was stored on a file system that is mounted with the nosuid option. As a result, this capability is not enabled and the application didn't work. If I move the file to another file system that doesn't have the nosuid option:

$ /usr/local/bin/test
cap_setuid and cap_setgid: 1
 = cap_setgid,cap_setuid+ep
 = cap_setgid,cap_setuid+ep
setresuid() failed: Operation not permitted

So the capabilities now do get enabled, so why does this still fail? This now is due to SELinux:

type=AVC msg=audit(1367393377.342:4778): avc:  denied  { setuid } for  pid=21418 comm="test" capability=7  scontext=staff_u:staff_r:staff_t tcontext=staff_u:staff_r:staff_t tclass=capability

And if you enable grSecurity's TPE, we can't even start the binary to begin with:

$ ./test
-bash: ./test: Permission denied
$ /lib/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 /home/test/test
/home/test/test: error while loading shared libraries: /home/test/test: failed to map segment from shared object: Permission denied

# dmesg
...
[ 5579.567842] grsec: From 192.168.100.1: denied untrusted exec (due to not being in trusted group and file in non-root-owned directory) of /home/test/test by /home/test/test[bash:4221] uid/euid:1002/1002 gid/egid:100/100, parent /bin/bash[bash:4195] uid/euid:1002/1002 gid/egid:100/100

When all these "security obstacles" are not enabled, then the call succeeds:

$ /usr/local/bin/test
cap_setuid and cap_setgid: 1
 = cap_setgid,cap_setuid+ep
 = cap_setgid,cap_setuid+ep
setresuid() failed: Success
root@hpl tmp #

This again shows how important it is to regularly review capability-enabled files on the file system, as this is a major security problem that cannot be detected by only looking for setuid binaries, but also that securing a system is not limited to one or a few settings: one always has to take the entire setup into consideration, hardening the system so it becomes more difficult for malicious users to abuse it.

# filecap -a
file                 capabilities
/usr/local/bin/test     setgid, setuid

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