Openwall GNU/*/Linux - a small security-enhanced Linux distro for servers
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Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:07:29 +0800
From: Yisheng Xie <>
To: Tycho Andersen <>
CC: <>, <>,
        Marco Benatto
        Juerg Haefliger
Subject: Re: [PATCH v6 00/11] Add support for eXclusive Page Frame Ownership

Hi Tycho,

On 2017/9/11 23:02, Tycho Andersen wrote:
> Hi Yisheng,
> On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 06:34:45PM +0800, Yisheng Xie wrote:
>> Hi Tycho ,
>> On 2017/9/8 1:35, Tycho Andersen wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> Here is v6 of the XPFO set; see v5 discussion here:
>>> Changelogs are in the individual patch notes, but the highlights are:
>>> * add primitives for ensuring memory areas are mapped (although these are quite
>>>   ugly, using stack allocation; I'm open to better suggestions)
>>> * instead of not flushing caches, re-map pages using the above
>>> * TLB flushing is much more correct (i.e. we're always flushing everything
>>>   everywhere). I suspect we may be able to back this off in some cases, but I'm
>>>   still trying to collect performance numbers to prove this is worth doing.
>>> I have no TODOs left for this set myself, other than fixing whatever review
>>> feedback people have. Thoughts and testing welcome!
>> According to the paper of Vasileios P. Kemerlis et al, the mainline kernel
>> will not set the Pro. of physmap(direct map area) to RW(X), so do we really
>> need XPFO to protect from ret2dir attack?
> I guess you're talking about section 4.3? 

> They mention that that x86
> only gets rw, but that aarch64 is rwx still.
IIRC, the in kernel of v4.13 the aarch64 is not rwx, I will check it.

> But in either case this still provides access protection, similar to
> SMAP. Also, if I understand things correctly the protections are
> unmanaged, so a page that had the +x bit set at some point, it could
> be used for ret2dir.
So you means that the Pro. of direct map area maybe changed to +x, then ret2dir attack can use it?

Yisheng Xie

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