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SELinux supports multiple networking related access controls. Alongside the TCP and UDP socket support, it also supports packet labeling (through SECMARK) and even peer labeling where the label of a process on one system is reflected in the data communication towards the other system, providing end-to-end policy decisions to be taken.


TCP and UDP socket support

The default access controls for networking by SELinux are based on the labels assigned to TCP and UDP ports and sockets. For instance, the TCP port 80 is labeled with http_port_t (and class tcp_socket). Access towards this port is then governed through SELinux access controls, such as name_connect and name_bind.

When an application is connecting to a port, the name_connect permission is checked. However, when an application binds to the port, the name_bind permission is checked.


With SECMARK, it isn't the port that is labeled, but the network package itself.

When a network package is handled by the Linux kernel, the netfilter or iptables code can be used to manage how these packages are handled. With SECMARK, one of the rules that can be implemented is to add a label to these packages. Once network packages are labeled, SELinux access controls can be implemented on these packages.

Now, it isn't that the network packages themselves are physically labeled - it is only on the current host that labels are assigned to the packages. That means that SECMARK is a local aspect for labeling. Labels are not traversing the network interface boundary at all.

Once SECMARK labeling is in place, the packet class is enabled with the send and recv permissions. For instance:

CODE Allowing the mozilla_t domain to send and receive http_client_packet_t packets
allow mozilla_t http_client_packet_t : packet { send recv };

Labeled IPSec


Handling TCP and UDP socket support

Listing labels on TCP and UDP sockets

With semanage port and seinfo, labels assigned to TCP and UDP sockets can be (re)viewed.

For instance, to check the label on the TCP port 80 with seinfo:

user $seinfo --portcon=80
        portcon tcp 80 system_u:object_r:http_port_t
        portcon tcp 1-511 system_u:object_r:reserved_port_t
        portcon udp 1-511 system_u:object_r:reserved_port_t

To check the label for port 9001 with semanage:

root #semanage port -l | grep 9001
tor_port_t                     tcp      6969, 9001, 9030, 9050, 9051

Changing socket labels

When the port is labeled with one of the following labels, then it can be modified to have a different label:

  • unreserved_port_t (for 1024+ ports that are not directly assigned yet)
  • hi_reserved_port (for 512-1023 that are not directly assigned yet)
  • reserved_port_t (for 1-511 that are not directly assigned yet)

So assign a specific label, use semanage like so:

root #semanage port -a -t http_port_t -p tcp 9224

Removing custom port labeling

When a label was assigned through semanage, it can be removed with semanage as well:

root #semanage port -d -t http_port_t -p tcp 9224

Listing domains with access to a particular port

To query which domains have access to a particular port, use the sesearch command, like so:

root #sesearch -t http_port_t -c tcp_socket -p name_bind -AC
Found 7 semantic av rules:
   allow corenet_unconfined_type port_type : tcp_socket { recv_msg send_msg name_bind name_connect } ; 
   allow svirt_t port_type : tcp_socket { recv_msg send_msg name_bind name_connect } ; 
   allow svirt_lxc_net_t port_type : tcp_socket { recv_msg send_msg name_bind name_connect } ; 
   allow httpd_t http_port_t : tcp_socket { recv_msg send_msg name_bind } ; 
   allow sysadm_t http_port_t : tcp_socket name_bind ; 
   allow stunnel_t port_type : tcp_socket { recv_msg send_msg name_bind name_connect } ; 
ET allow qemu_t port_type : tcp_socket { name_bind name_connect } ; [ qemu_full_network ]

Managing SECMARK rules

Listing SECMARK firewall rules

To list the current SECMARK label rules, use iptables. SECMARK labels are usually assigned to a "mangle" table.

root #iptables -t mangle --list

Adding a SECMARK labeling rule

When a single SECMARK rule is loaded, SELinux enables SECMARK filtering. Unlabeled packets might not be processed by SELinux domains if that domain is not allowed to handle unlabeled packets.

For instance, to label packets that originate from and arrive on port 443 with the myauth_packet_t label:

root #iptables -t mangle -A INPUT -p tcp --src --dport 443 -j SECMARK --selctx system_u:object_r:myauth_packet_t

Using Labeled IPSec

Supporting NetLabel