Follow @Openwall on Twitter for new release announcements and other news
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2022 01:25:50 +0800
From: Tom Shen <>
To: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: gethostbyname2_r returns invalid IPv6 address if DNS
 server replies IPv4 address

I tested the fix in your earlier email locally with my own test code and
getent in Alpine Linux 3.16.2. They both crashed. After debugging, I found
in gethostbyname2_r we should return non-zero if no address is returned.
Then gethostbyname2 will return NULL. I also check the Linux doc, it says:

> Return Value
> The gethostbyname() and gethostbyaddr() functions return the hostent
structure or *a NULL pointer if an error occurs*. On error, the h_errno
variable holds an error number. When non-NULL, the return value may point
at static data, see the notes below.

Based on your patch (except the "for (i=nq-1; i>=0; i--)"), I made a minor
change to address it. Tested with command getent hosts, it works well with
my CoreDNS. Although the h_errno is better to be NO_DATA rather than
HOST_NOT_FOUND, I think it's not a big issue.

The diff file attached.

Tom Shen

On Thu, Oct 20, 2022 at 8:52 AM Rich Felker <> wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 20, 2022 at 12:00:46AM +0800, Tom Shen wrote:
> > > Right. I'm saying the maintainers of this version of getent should be
> > > informed that they're using a backwards nonstandard function here and
> > > that it would work better with getaddrinfo.
> >
> > The getent Linux manual states that when using database hosts,
> > gethostbyname2 would be called.
> > . Maybe we can
> persuade
> > the third party service to use getent ahosts.
> Uhg, lovely that it's specified like that... But really, it only needs
> to behave "as if" it did that, which can be done better using
> getaddrinfo with the right options to get the behavior the legacy APIs
> would have given, but in a better way. So I think it's still worth
> pursuing this kind of improvement too. Orthogonal to your problem
> report, though.
> > > I inquired about this and got the response that there might not be an
> > > explicit rule against it, "much like no RFC prohibits you from eating
> > > glass". :-) I don't see how the behavior makes any sense though. There
> > > is a risk that strict stub resolvers could consider these packets
> > > non-answers and timeout/fail rather than returning a response, and
> > > like you found, a chance that buggy stub resolvers not doing
> > > sufficient validation could misinterpret the answers. I'm not clear
> > > where these wrong-type answers could give useful results, especially
> > > not anything more-useful than just returning NODATA in place of the v6
> > > result you want to suppress.
> >
> > True. Maybe we should not use this "rewrite type AAAA A" feature in
> > CoreDNS. Just on Internet there are some posts suggested it to fix the
> name
> > resolution issues caused by unexpected IPv6 logic. We already removed it
> > from our system since an incident. I am not an expert in DNS though, so
> > cannot comment more about the standards.
> >
> > Anyway, although rewriting the DNS request type may make no sense, we
> > should either return correct IPv6 address (e.g. ::ffff: or
> IPv4
> > address ( or NODATA, rather than an invalid IPv6 address
> > (a60:244a::) :-). I got your point in last email, and I also have the
> same
> > idea, returning NODATA is a good (or only) solution. In getent hosts
> > command, when getting empty result for AF_INET6, it will call
> > gethostbyname2 with AF_INET (this is also the behavior of glibc's getent
> >, then we will get
> > correct IPv4 address.
> >
> > > But I have a proposed fix here.
> >
> > Thank you so much, Rich! Your change looks better than what I would do. I
> > will try it out. If tested good, would we merge the fix into later
> releases?
> Yes, I'm getting it merged now. Thanks for the report. In some sense
> this was a long-known issue (that "malicious" nameservers could give
> wrong-RR-type answers -- see CVE-2017-15650) and it's nice to finally
> have good reason to put in the attention to fixing it.
> Rich

Content of type "text/html" skipped

Download attachment "gethostbyname2_r.diff" of type "application/octet-stream" (410 bytes)

Powered by blists - more mailing lists

Confused about mailing lists and their use? Read about mailing lists on Wikipedia and check out these guidelines on proper formatting of your messages.