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Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2015 19:40:40 -0800
From: Laura Abbott <>
To: Christoph Lameter <>,
	Pekka Enberg <>,
	David Rientjes <>,
	Joonsoo Kim <>,
	Andrew Morton <>
Cc: Laura Abbott <>,,,
	Kees Cook <>,
Subject: [RFC][PATCH 6/7] mm: Add Kconfig option for slab sanitization

The SL[AOU]B allocators all behave differently w.r.t. to what happen
an object is freed. CONFIG_SLAB_SANITIZATION introduces a common
mechanism to control what happens on free. When this option is
enabled, objects may be poisoned according to a combination of
slab_sanitization command line option and whether SLAB_NO_SANITIZE
is set on a cache.

All credit for the original work should be given to Brad Spengler and
the PaX Team.

Signed-off-by: Laura Abbott <>
 init/Kconfig | 36 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 36 insertions(+)

diff --git a/init/Kconfig b/init/Kconfig
index 235c7a2..37857f3 100644
--- a/init/Kconfig
+++ b/init/Kconfig
@@ -1755,6 +1755,42 @@ config SLUB_CPU_PARTIAL
 	  which requires the taking of locks that may cause latency spikes.
 	  Typically one would choose no for a realtime system.
+	bool "Sanitize all freed memory"
+	help
+	  By saying Y here the kernel will erase slab objects as soon as they
+	  are freed.  This in turn reduces the lifetime of data
+	  stored in them, making it less likely that sensitive information such
+	  as passwords, cryptographic secrets, etc stay in memory for too long.
+	  This is especially useful for programs whose runtime is short, long
+	  lived processes and the kernel itself benefit from this as long as
+	  they ensure timely freeing of memory that may hold sensitive
+	  information.
+	  A nice side effect of the sanitization of slab objects is the
+	  reduction of possible info leaks caused by padding bytes within the
+	  leaky structures.  Use-after-free bugs for structures containing
+	  pointers can also be detected as dereferencing the sanitized pointer
+	  will generate an access violation.
+	  The tradeoff is performance impact. The noticible impact can vary
+	  and you are advised to test this feature on your expected workload
+	  before deploying it
+	  The slab sanitization feature excludes a few slab caches per default
+	  for performance reasons. The level of sanitization can be adjusted
+	  with the sanitize_slab commandline option:
+		sanitize_slab=off: No sanitization will occur
+		santiize_slab=slow: Sanitization occurs only on the slow path
+		for all but the excluded slabs
+		(relevant for SLUB allocator only)
+		sanitize_slab=partial: Sanitization occurs on all path for all
+		but the excluded slabs
+		sanitize_slab=full: All slabs are sanitize
+	  If unsure, say Y here.
 	bool "Allow mmapped anonymous memory to be uninitialized"
 	depends on EXPERT && !MMU

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