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Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 09:23:16 -0800
From: Kees Cook <>
To: Greg KH <>
Cc: "" <>, 
	LKML <>, 
	Benjamin Herrenschmidt <>, Thomas Sailer <>, 
	"Rafael J. Wysocki" <>, Johan Hovold <>, 
	Alex Elder <>, "J. Bruce Fields" <>, 
	Jeff Layton <>, David Howells <>, 
	NeilBrown <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/4] make call_usermodehelper a bit more "safe"

On Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 8:49 AM, Greg KH <> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Here's a second cut at my attempt to make call_usermodehelper a bit more
> "safe".  It includes some patches from my previous series, and one new
> one.  In all, this is a much smaller patchset, with better functionality
> in the end.
> The issue is that if you end up getting write access to kernel memory,
> if you change the string '/sbin/hotplug' to point to
> '/home/hacked/my_binary', then the next uevent that the system makes
> will call this binary instead of the "trusted" one.
> This series addresses this issue by doing two different things.  The
> first 2 patches move a lot of existing call_usermodehelper binaries to
> read-only memory, preventing them from being able to be changed at all.
> The last patch introduces a new configuration option,
> STATIC_USERMODEHELPER.  This option routes all call_usermodehelper()
> calls to a single userspace binary.  That binary can then
> filter/mediate/blacklist/whitelist/whatever the "real" usermodehelper
> binaries and call them as needed (it determines the real one by looking
> at the first argument.)
> The location of this new binary can be set with the
> STATIC_USERMODEHELPER_PATH configuration option.
> If the user wants call_usermodehelper() to be disabled entirely,
> STATIC_USERMODEHELPER_PATH can be set to "", which will cause all
> call_usermodehelper() calls to do nothing, but return successful.
> Many thanks to the reviewers of the last patch series for their hints on
> how to mark strings properly to live in read-only memory always, and to
> Neil Brown for the idea of STATIC_USERMODEHELPER.
> If there are no complaints about these patches, I'll take them through
> my driver-core tree.

I like it! More things into .rodata. :)

Consider all three patches:

Acked-by: Kees Cook <>


Kees Cook
Nexus Security

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