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Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 08:42:29 +0800
From: Eugene Teo <>
CC: Julien Tinnes <>
Subject: Re: Linux kernel signal spoofing vulnerability (CVE

On 03/23/2011 06:56 AM, Julien Tinnes wrote:
> The libc' sigqueue() function allows to queue a signal, as well as some
> accompanying data to a process.
> The kernel's interface that is used to implement this function is known
> as rt_sigqueueinfo(). It has been added in Linux 2.2.
> This system call is interesting from a security perspective, because it
> allows userland to compeletely specify the siginfo_t structure. This
> structure is normally typically almost entirely written by the kernel
> when a signal is delivered.
> Since at least Linux 2.4.0, most abuses of the kernel interface have
> been prevented with a simple check:
> 	/* Not even root can pretend to send signals from the kernel.
> 	   Nor can they impersonate a kill(), which adds source info.  */
> 	if (info.si_code>= 0)
> 		return -EPERM;
> This check made sure that rt_sigqueueinfo() could not spoof a signal
> whose SI_CODE would be SI_KERNEL or SI_USER. As the comment indicates, a
> process receiving a signal should be able to trust its source pid or uid
> if its si_code matches SI_USER.
> Unfortunately, a couple of years later, when tgkill() and tkill() were
> added, this check was forgotten and was not updated to prevent the
> spoofing of a TGKILL si_code.  Because of this, userland is unable to
> trust the pid and uid information of a TKILL signal.
> This is bad, because it is a useful feature in a scenario where a
> process which cannot ptrace you can send you signals. This includes at
> least the startup code of setuid binaries.
> Meanwhile, userland and libc writers still assumed that they could trust
> the origin of a SI_TKILL signal. Glibc authors too [1]. Worse: they
> even silently patched SI_TKILL with SI_USER [2], [3]. So even a userland
> application that (righfully so) only trusts SI_USER signals will be
> vulnerable.
> A tentative patch for this vulnerability has been committed to Linus'
> kernel tree [4].
> In this patch, we prevent rt_sigqueueinfo() from specifying any si_code
> != SI_QUEUE. While we believe it to be very unlikley, this could in
> theory break userland in some older Linux distributions, so we may
> have to revert to a more concervative patch and prevent ( (si_code ==
> SI_TKILL) || (si_code>= SI_QUEUE) ) instead.
> Please credit "Julien Tinnes, Google security team" in any related advisory.
> Julien
> [1]:
> [2]:
> [3]:
> [4]:;a=commit;h=da48524eb20662618854bb3df2db01fc65f3070c

Please use CVE-2011-1182.

Thanks, Eugene
main(i) { putchar(182623909 >> (i-1) * 5&31|!!(i<7)<<6) && main(++i); }

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