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From: Nick Piggin <nickpiggin@yahoo.com.au>
To: Robert Hancock <hancockr@shaw.ca>
Cc: Jonathan Corbet <corbet@lwn.net>,
	linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org, akpm@linux-foundation.org,
	torvalds@linux-foundation.org
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Avoid buffer overflows in get_user_pages()
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008 16:56:09 +1100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <200802121656.09440.nickpiggin@yahoo.com.au> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <47B10FA4.2000808@shaw.ca>

On Tuesday 12 February 2008 14:16, Robert Hancock wrote:
> Nick Piggin wrote:
> > On Tuesday 12 February 2008 10:17, Jonathan Corbet wrote:
> >> 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
> >> coded.
> >>
> >> 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 <corbet@lwn.net>
> >>
> >> 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;
> >
> > BUG_ON()?
>
> Well, not if the code involved in the exploit can pass a zero value,

Which is a bug, and you want to catch it.


> otherwise it's just turning it into a DoS..

If it is due to a security bug, then the fix is to fix the point
where the kernel starts trusting an untrusted value. Not to hide
the bug like this. Arguably, a BUG_ON is better in the case of a
security hole because you want to halt the process as soon as you
detect a problem.

  reply	other threads:[~2008-02-12  5:56 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 9+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
     [not found] <fa.5jOFf0zR7ZoK3hLDItf3Omow4lE@ifi.uio.no>
     [not found] ` <fa.NNs+hqAlLlf93+yNZ/YJzSyGQbs@ifi.uio.no>
2008-02-12  3:16   ` Robert Hancock
2008-02-12  5:56     ` Nick Piggin [this message]
     [not found] <9VQ6w-5Xn-7@gated-at.bofh.it>
     [not found] ` <9VY4a-1tI-21@gated-at.bofh.it>
2008-02-12  8:34   ` Bodo Eggert
2008-02-11 23:17 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

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