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Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 18:33:42 -0500
From: Jon Oberheide <>
Cc: "Steven M. Christey" <>
Subject: Re: Linux kernel address leaks

On Tue, 2010-11-23 at 23:49 +0100, Marcus Meissner wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 10:04:06AM -0500, Jon Oberheide wrote:
> > On Tue, 2010-11-23 at 09:59 +0100, Yves-Alexis Perez wrote: 
> > > On lun., 2010-11-22 at 18:54 -0500, Michael Gilbert wrote:
> > > > Oh, and if you get CVEs assigned, that kind of forces them to fix the
> > > > problem, right?
> > > > 
> > > I'm not that sure (there are CVEs for issues considered too small by the
> > > developers involved, not only in Linux, which are still opened), and I'm
> > > not sure using CVE system for “blackmailing” is a good usage for that
> > > tool.
> > 
> > I think calling it "blackmail" is a bit hyperbolic. Rather, it's simply
> > the next step in the vulnerability disclosure process: (1) research
> > reports vulnerability to vendor; (2) vendor refuses to fix
> > vulnerability; (3) research discloses vulnerability and requests CVE.
> > 
> > Am I correct in assuming that it is acceptable procedure to assign CVEs
> > to unpatched vulnerabilities?
> CVE is just a directory index to vulnerabilites, regardless of fixed
> status ... so YES.

Great. There's plenty of precedent for CVE assignment to vulnerabilities
that leak information that can assist an attacker in exploitation.

In particular, I'm thinking about the handful of ASLR information leaks
(eg. CVE-2009-2691 [1]), where userspace addresses are leaked via /proc,
assisting an attacker in exploiting a vulnerability in a setuid
userspace binary.

In this case, we have an analogous situation, except that we're leaking
kernel address via /proc, assisting an attacker in exploiting
vulnerability in the kernel.

I don't see any reason why it would not be entirely appropriate to
assign a CVE here.

Jon Oberheide


Jon Oberheide <>
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