Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2020 14:37:46 -0800 From: Kees Cook <keescook@...omium.org> To: Jann Horn <jannh@...gle.com> Cc: Will Deacon <will@...nel.org>, Ingo Molnar <mingo@...nel.org>, Peter Zijlstra <peterz@...radead.org>, kernel list <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>, Elena Reshetova <elena.reshetova@...el.com>, Ard Biesheuvel <ard.biesheuvel@...aro.org>, Hanjun Guo <guohanjun@...wei.com>, Jan Glauber <jglauber@...vell.com>, Kernel Hardening <kernel-hardening@...ts.openwall.com> Subject: Re: [PATCH] lib/refcount: Document interaction with PID_MAX_LIMIT On Mon, Mar 02, 2020 at 08:53:52PM +0100, Jann Horn wrote: > Document the circumstances under which refcount_t's saturation mechanism > works deterministically. > > Signed-off-by: Jann Horn <jannh@...gle.com> Acked-by: Kees Cook <keescook@...omium.org> With one note below... > --- > include/linux/refcount.h | 19 ++++++++++++++----- > 1 file changed, 14 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-) > > diff --git a/include/linux/refcount.h b/include/linux/refcount.h > index 0ac50cf62d062..cf14db393d89d 100644 > --- a/include/linux/refcount.h > +++ b/include/linux/refcount.h > @@ -38,11 +38,20 @@ > * atomic operations, then the count will continue to edge closer to 0. If it > * reaches a value of 1 before /any/ of the threads reset it to the saturated > * value, then a concurrent refcount_dec_and_test() may erroneously free the > - * underlying object. Given the precise timing details involved with the > - * round-robin scheduling of each thread manipulating the refcount and the need > - * to hit the race multiple times in succession, there doesn't appear to be a > - * practical avenue of attack even if using refcount_add() operations with > - * larger increments. > + * underlying object. > + * Linux limits the maximum number of tasks to PID_MAX_LIMIT, which is currently > + * 0x400000 (and can't easily be raised in the future beyond FUTEX_TID_MASK). Maybe just to clarify and make readers not have to go search the source: "... beyond FUTEX_TID_MASK, which is UAPI defined as 0x3fffffff)." and is it worth showing the math on this, just to have it clearly stated? -Kees > + * With the current PID limit, if no batched refcounting operations are used and > + * the attacker can't repeatedly trigger kernel oopses in the middle of refcount > + * operations, this makes it impossible for a saturated refcount to leave the > + * saturation range, even if it is possible for multiple uses of the same > + * refcount to nest in the context of a single task. > + * If hundreds of references are added/removed with a single refcounting > + * operation, it may potentially be possible to leave the saturation range; but > + * given the precise timing details involved with the round-robin scheduling of > + * each thread manipulating the refcount and the need to hit the race multiple > + * times in succession, there doesn't appear to be a practical avenue of attack > + * even if using refcount_add() operations with larger increments. > * > * Memory ordering > * =============== > > base-commit: 98d54f81e36ba3bf92172791eba5ca5bd813989b > -- > 184.108.40.2065.gbab2e86ba0-goog > -- Kees Cook
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