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SubjectRe: [PATCH 0/2] exec: Use sane stack rlimit for setuid exec
On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 2:55 PM, Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 12:56 PM, Kees Cook <> wrote:
>> As discussed with Linus and Andy, we need to reset the stack rlimit
>> before we do memory layouts when execing a privilege-gaining (e.g.
>> setuid) program. This moves security_bprm_secureexec() earlier (with
>> required changes), and then lowers the stack limit when appropriate.
> As I see it, there are two cases to harden:
> 1. Bad guy has a high rlimit and runs a setuid program with crazy
> large arguments. This is improved by this patch. It's not entirely
> clear to me exactly what problem is solved, though, except that the
> rest of the exec code does not sanely check that we haven't used too
> much stack. How about putting a check later on to make sure that
> we're not running low on stack rather than hoping we got the
> arithmetic right?

The rest of the exec uses a relatively fixed amount of space. (AT_*,
etc.) I didn't see any other dynamic stack usage, but maybe I missed

> 2. Bad guy wants to trigger stack exhaustion in a setuid program at a
> controlled location and thus sets a crazy low rlimit. This isn't
> addressed at all by this patch, but I assume it's what grsecurity was
> trying to do. FWIW, I seem to recall that a lot of setuid attacks use
> intentionally weird rlimits to trigger unexpected signals.

It looks like they were protecting against 1:

if (((!uid_eq(bprm->cred->euid, current_euid())) ||
(!gid_eq(bprm->cred->egid, current_egid()))) &&
(old_rlim[RLIMIT_STACK].rlim_cur > (8 * 1024 * 1024)))
current->signal->rlim[RLIMIT_STACK].rlim_cur = 8 * 1024 * 1024;

For 2, I think we need another examination of how things will fail
with too low a limit.


Kees Cook
Pixel Security

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