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Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2012 22:55:30 -0800
From: "H. Peter Anvin" <>
To: Indan Zupancic <>
CC: Will Drewry <>,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH v12 06/13] seccomp: add system call filtering using BPF

On 03/01/2012 10:43 PM, Indan Zupancic wrote:
> On Fri, March 2, 2012 06:52, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
>> On 03/01/2012 09:45 PM, Indan Zupancic wrote:
>>>> + * @nr: the system call number
>>>> + * @arch: indicates system call convention as an AUDIT_ARCH_* value
>>>> + *        as defined in <linux/audit.h>.
>>>> + * @instruction_pointer: at the time of the system call.
>>> If the vDSO is used this will always be the same, so what good is this?
>>> I haven't gotten an answer to this yet.
>> And if it isn't, or you're on an architecture which doesn't use the vdso
>> as the launching point, it's not.
> True, but then what?

Ok, fail on my part - I misread the above to refer to @arch, not

>> -- Pin is a great example.
> Is that
> Can you explain how knowing the IP is useful for Pin?
> All I am asking for is just one use case for providing the IP. Is that
> asking for too much?

However, it still applies.  For something like Pin, Pin may want to trap
on all or a subset from the instrumented program, while the
instrumentation code -- which lives in the same address space -- needs
to execute those same instructions.

Yes, it's useless for *security* (unless perhaps if you keep very strict
tabs on the flow of control by using debug registers, dynamic
translation or whatnot), but it can be highly useful for
*instrumentation*, where you want to analyze the behavior of a
non-malicious program.


H. Peter Anvin, Intel Open Source Technology Center
I work for Intel.  I don't speak on their behalf.

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