lab 2 - cryptfs


lab 2 - use file2chan to create a cryptfile that encrypts/decrypts all read and writes to an underlying file. This cryptfile can then be used by kfs to create a crypt file system.


Inferno 4th edition release 20040830. Using kfs(4), file2chan(2), keyring-crypt(2).


Keyring-crypt contains ECB algorithms for block encryption and random access to files. I'll use the Ideaecb for this session.

I setup a simple file2chan prog that layers atop another file and passes through the read/writes. cryptfile0.b Tested this.

% > t1
% cryptfile0 /chan/crypt t1
% echo this is a test > /chan/crypt
% cat /chan/crypt
this is a test
% ls -l /chan/crypt
--rw-rw---- s 0 caerwyn caerwyn 0 May 27 14:41 /chan/crypt

The size of the file is always 0. I checked the /appl/cmd/disk/kfs.b for calls it makes to the file. All reads and writes are blocks; blocksize can be given as a parameter. It calls fstat in one place to get the file size. I changed it to take the size of the file as a parameter.

% diff /n/fossildump/2004/0910/usr/inferno/appl/cmd/disk/kfs.b kfs.b 
> wrenlen := 0;
>   's' => wrenlen = int arg->earg();
<  return int (d.length / big RBUFSIZE);
>  if(wrenlen != 0)
>   return int (big wrenlen / big RBUFSIZE);
>  else
>   return int (d.length / big RBUFSIZE);

I wrote the next iteration of cryptfile to perform block writes which must be a multiple of 8 for Ideaecb. cryptfile1.b

I set BUFSIZE to 8 and tested. I tested without the encryption until I got the block read/writes correct. Here is an example with encryption on.

% zeros 1024 1 > t1
% cryptfile1 /chan/crypt t1
% echo this is a test > /chan/crypt
% read 10 < /chan/crypt
this is a % 
read 10 < t1 |xd
0000000 76b3129a eab1c334 c0df0000

I tested cryptfile1 with kfs. I changed the BUFSIZE to 512 and used the same size for kfs.

% zeros 1024 2048 > kfs.file
% ls -l kfs.file
--rw-rw---- U 4 caerwyn caerwyn 2097152 Sep 11 12:37 /n/local/kfs.file
% cryptfile1 /chan/crypt  kfs.file '0123456789abcdef'
% mount -c {disk/kfs -b 512 -r -P -s 2097152 /chan/crypt} /n/kfs
kfs: reaming the file system using 512 byte blocks
kfs: initializing minimal user table
% echo this is a test > /n/kfs/t1
% ls -l /n/kfs/t1
--rw-rw-rw- M 14 none adm 15 Sep 11 12:40 /n/kfs/t1
% cat /n/kfs/t1
this is a test


Layering of filesystems is fascinating. There is very clear separation between programs, a well defined interface, and reuse of code to accomplish something new. In this example we have the kfs on top of cryptfile on top of the host file system. And of course other file systems can be run on top of the files within kfs, such as tarfs.

I haven't looked into the security of this solution. ECB itself is not as secure as CBC, but only ECB is usable for random access to blocks. There is likely to be known plaintext within the kfs.file such as the magic word at the start. Also, decrypted data is stored in memory and might be swapped to disk by the host system.

A small enhancements would be to prompt twice for password, or passphrase, without echo.


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