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Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 22:12:39 -0700
From: Kees Cook <>
To: David Windsor <>
Subject: Re: Sysctl for set_kernel_text_r[wo]

Hi David,

On Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 09:42:59PM -0400, David Windsor wrote:
> I am looking into adding a sysctl that enables toggling of
> set_kernel_text_rw, set_kernel_text_ro.  It appears that the only
> caller of these methods is ftrace, which can rather easily be disabled
> when these methods are unavailable.

It would be really nice to be able to wipe these functions out. I really
dislike that they are available as such perfect ROP targets.

> I'm afraid I'm overlooking something major here.  It seems that such a
> control would have been added much earlier if it was actually as
> simple as adding a guard variable, mutable via a sysctl, allowing
> access to this interface.

I haven't spent too much time looking into it, but I was under the
impression that the module loader used some of the underlying functions
too. Have you checked those code paths?


Kees Cook

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