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Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2019 16:12:18 -0700
From: Kees Cook <>
To: Tianlin Li <>
Subject: Re: Introduction and get involved

On Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 01:59:57PM -0500, Tianlin Li wrote:
> Hello everyone,


> My name is Tina. I am working at DigitalOcean Systems/kernel team, focusing on kernel security. I would like to get involved with Kernel Self Protection Project. 
> As a new hire, I don’t have much industry experience yet. But I have some research experience about memory virtualization. 

What kinds of things keep you up at night? :) Or rather, what have you
seen that you think needs fixing?

What exactly do you mean by "memory virtualization"? That seems like it
could be a lot of stuff. :) As far as the kernel's memory management
system goes, there's lots of areas to poke at. Is there any portion
you're specifically interested in?

> Is there any initial task that I can start with? 
> It is going to be a learning exercise for me at the beginning, but I will learn fast and start contributing value to the project. 

There has been some recent work on trying to replace dangerous (or
easily misused) APIs in the kernel with safer alternatives. (See the
recent stracpy() API that was proposed[1].)


I've been keeping a (rather terse) TODO list here:

But I'd like to turn that into an actual bug list on github or the like.

I wonder if working on something like this:
- set_memory_*() needs __must_check and/or atomicity
would be interesting?

The idea there is that set_memory_*() calls can fail, so callers should
likely be handling errors correctly. Adding the "__must_check" attribute
and fixing all the callers would be nice (and certainly touches the
memory management code!)



Kees Cook

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