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Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 12:17:43 -0500
From: Dan Rosenberg <>
To: Steve Grubb <>
Subject: Re: Linux kernel address leaks

> But you can't access kernel memory as a common user unless you already have a second
> bug. That second bug is the CVE. Saying this leak helps escate privs is like saying
> /etc/password leaks account names. You already have to have system access to use that
> info.

I'm going to stop nitpicking over CVE definitions, because it's not
the point of this conversation.  Let's forget I ever brought it up.  I
agree that this isn't a direct threat, but in the interest of being
proactive rather than reactive, fixing this (in combination with other
previously mentioned hardening efforts) would make exploitation of
other vulnerabilities harder.

> That said, why don't upstream kernel allow 0's for the memory addresses? I don't know
> of any tool that uses the memory address information. What user space uses is the
> inode, path, and network address/port fields. (netstat, lsof, netcap)

The argument presented to me was that address information can be
helpful in debugging the kernel, which makes sense if you're a
privileged user.  I have yet to hear a coherent argument on why
unprivileged users should need this same information, but feel free to
ask the kernel folks - you might get lead around in circles for awhile


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