Jump to: navigation, search


Trusted VM can be powered on untrusted hosts


A trusted VM that has been launched earlier on a trusted host can still be powered on from the same host even after the trusted host is compromised.

Affected Services / Software

Nova, Trusted Computing Pools


Trusted Computing Pools aim to ensure the trustworthiness of the hosts leveraging hardware-based security features. When an instance is scheduled, the scheduler finds a trusted host by calling the remote Attestation API for each host to check whether it is trusted or not. Then, the scheduler calls the corresponding compute node to launch the VM. Once the VM is launched, the scheduler is no longer involved unless a migration, a resize or an evacuation is asked for that VM.

Malicious users can bypass the trust check by the Attestation API using these steps:

  1. Launch a trusted VM on a trusted host
  2. Stop the VM on the trusted host
  3. Compromise the host
  4. Power on the VM from the compromised host. There is no check by the Attestation API for powering on the VM in this case.

Recommended Actions

We recommend investigating further if the trust check by Attestation API fails but the VM still boots. Another approach is to combine secure boot with trusted boot. At the same time, Nova team has discussed deprecating Trusted Filter.

Contacts / References