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* [PATCH] Avoid buffer overflows in get_user_pages()
@ 2008-02-11 23:17 Jonathan Corbet
  2008-02-11 23:45 ` Nick Piggin
                   ` (2 more replies)
  0 siblings, 3 replies; 9+ messages in thread
From: Jonathan Corbet @ 2008-02-11 23:17 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: linux-kernel; +Cc: akpm, torvalds

Avoid buffer overflows in get_user_pages()

So I spent a while pounding my head against my monitor trying to figure
out the vmsplice() vulnerability - how could a failure to check for
*read* access turn into a root exploit?  It turns out that it's a buffer
overflow problem which is made easy by the way get_user_pages() is

In particular, "len" is a signed int, and it is only checked at the
*end* of a do {} while() loop.  So, if it is passed in as zero, the loop
will execute once and decrement len to -1.  At that point, the loop will
proceed until the next invalid address is found; in the process, it will
likely overflow the pages array passed in to get_user_pages().

I think that, if get_user_pages() has been asked to grab zero pages,
that's what it should do.  Thus this patch; it is, among other things,
enough to block the (already fixed) root exploit and any others which
might be lurking in similar code.  I also think that the number of pages
should be unsigned, but changing the prototype of this function probably
requires some more careful review.

Signed-off-by: Jonathan Corbet <>

diff --git a/mm/memory.c b/mm/memory.c
index e5628a5..7f50fd8 100644
--- a/mm/memory.c
+++ b/mm/memory.c
@@ -989,6 +989,8 @@ int get_user_pages(struct task_struct *tsk, struct mm_struct *mm,
 	int i;
 	unsigned int vm_flags;
+	if (len <= 0)
+		return 0;
 	 * Require read or write permissions.
 	 * If 'force' is set, we only require the "MAY" flags.

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 9+ messages in thread
[parent not found: <>]
[parent not found: <>]

end of thread, other threads:[~2008-02-14 21:09 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: 9+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2008-02-11 23:17 [PATCH] Avoid buffer overflows in get_user_pages() Jonathan Corbet
2008-02-11 23:45 ` Nick Piggin
2008-02-12  7:46 ` Andrew Morton
2008-02-12 10:35   ` Jiri Kosina
2008-02-14 16:45 ` Oliver Pinter
2008-02-14 21:09   ` Jonathan Corbet
     [not found] <>
     [not found] ` <fa.NNs+hqAlLlf93+yNZ/>
2008-02-12  3:16   ` Robert Hancock
2008-02-12  5:56     ` Nick Piggin
     [not found] <>
     [not found] ` <>
2008-02-12  8:34   ` Bodo Eggert

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