Support Grsecurity/PaX

Jason A. Donenfeld

Dear Core Infrastructure Initiative:

I do consulting for several different security companies. The uniform advice across the industry is: if you want to deploy Linux securely, be sure to be using a Grsecurity/PaX kernel. This advice is given time after time in reports authored by several security companies for whom I consult. And companies who take their security seriously wind up using Grsecurity/PaX. This isn't just security-scare-speak rattling the saber; this is pretty much essential and true. As somebody who works day in day out developing exploits and finding vulnerability, I can tell you that Grsecurity/PaX makes my work considerably more difficult. The defenses Grsecurity/PaX offers are real, and are useful. They're doing important work, and as a whole they're moving everybody forward.

Simply put, anybody serious about security uses a Grsecurity/PaX kernel.

Yet, as far as I can see, the developers (CC'd) receive basically no funding, and since the source they release is GPL, the thousands of companies who deploy Grsecurity/PaX are not compelled to give any financial support. As such, the financial situation of the developers is in nearly constant peril, and this core Linux project lives under a consistent existential threat.

Were it not for Grsecurity/PaX, I would probably not be using the Linux kernel in my mission critical infrastructure, in favor of some flavor of BSD that's copied Grsecurity/PaX's techniques. Or simply in favor of a smaller, less performant, more minimal BSD kernel, that would be a big hassle, but would have a smaller attack surface. However, since there is Grsecurity/PaX, I feel a bit more comfortable deploying Linux. And I think many in the security industry feel the same.

So, Core Infrastructure Initiative - please - consider supporting them. I'm not affiliated with them in anyway, but in stumbling across CII, and reviewing what CII is up to, it struck me that there's currently a glaring omission in supported projects. Grsecurity/PaX ought to be at the top of the list.

Thank you,

Jason Donenfeld

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