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Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2016 22:30:08 -0400
From: Dave Tian <>
Cc: Adam Sampson <>
Subject: Re: Legitimate use of /proc/PID/mem,maps and smaps

On Nov 2, 2016, at 8:54 PM, Marian Marinov <> wrote:
> On 11/02/2016 06:10 PM, Adam Sampson wrote:
>> Marian Marinov <> writes:
>>> Are there any other legitimate users of these files, maybe X?
>> This is the kind of question that Debian Code Search is useful for
>> (although it's not exhaustive):
>> >From my bug-hunting experience, programs use /proc/self/maps for all
>> sorts of weird things -- e.g. working out the full path of the
>> executable, or what version of a shared library they've been linked
>> against, or guessing whether some random value is a valid pointer. Many
>> have embedded copies of code from gettext or BinReloc that uses it.
>> On the other hand, many of these don't actually need all the information
>> in /proc/self/maps, so you could get away with a simplified version that
>> only had valid filenames.
> Hmm I probably did not explained what I want. I know I can not (easily)limit a program to access its own memory(that would be stupid).
> Pretend that user joe is running top and his top has pid of 1154. Now joe runs a php script and that script wants to open /proc/1154/maps and so on.
> I believe that the kernel should not allow the php process(even thou it is from the same user to read those files, that are private to the top application). Actually I would like to make them invisible for all processes and users except the program that is the actual owner of the files and privileges users.
> Does that seam logical to you guys?
> Marian

Sounds reasonable. However, this still does not solve the dirty cow case where a thread is able to access its own mem to access whatever shared by the main thread.


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