Security Implications of Loading Resources

OxidizedFinder allows Python code to define its own OxidizedResource instances to be made available for loading. This means Python code can define its own Python module source or bytecode that could later be executed. It also allows registration of extension modules and shared libraries, which give a vector for allowing execution of native machine code.

This feature has security implications, as it provides a vector for arbitrary code execution.

While it might be possible to restrict this feature to provide stronger security protections, we have not done so yet. Our thinking here is that it is extremely difficult to sandbox Python code. Security sandboxing at the Python layer is effectively impossible: the only effective mechanism to sandbox Python is to add protections at the process level. e.g. by restricting what system calls can be performed. We feel that the capability to inject new Python modules and even shared libraries via OxidizedFinder doesn’t provide any new or novel vector that doesn’t already exist in Python’s standard library and can’t already be exploited by well-crafted Python code. Therefore, this feature isn’t a net regression in security protection.

If you have a use case that requires limiting the features of OxidizedFinder so security isn’t sacrificed, please file an issue <>.