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SubjectRe: [PATCH v1 1/2] sysctl: cap to ULONG_MAX in proc_get_long()
On Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 3:55 AM, Christian Brauner <> wrote:
> proc_get_long() is a funny function. It uses simple_strtoul() and for a
> good reason. proc_get_long() wants to always succeed the parse and return
> the maybe incorrect value and the trailing characters to check against a
> pre-defined list of acceptable trailing values.
> However, simple_strtoul() explicitly ignores overflows which can cause

What depends on simple_strtoul() ignoring overflows? Can we just cap
it to ULONG_MAX instead?

I note that both simple_strtoul() and simple_strtoull() are marked as
obsolete (more below).

> funny things like the following to happen:
> echo 18446744073709551616 > /proc/sys/fs/file-max
> cat /proc/sys/fs/file-max
> 0
> (Which will cause your system to silently die behind your back.)
> On the other hand kstrtoul() does do overflow detection but fails the parse
> in this case, does not return the trailing characters, and also fails the
> parse when anything other than '\n' is a trailing character whereas
> proc_get_long() wants to be more lenient.

This parsing strictness difference makes it seem like the simple_*()
shouldn't be considered obsolete...

and it's still very heavily used:

$ git grep -E 'simple_strtoull?\(' | wc -l

> Now, before adding another kstrtoul() function let's simply add a static
> parse strtoul_cap_erange() which does:
> - returns ULONG_MAX on ERANGE
> - returns the trailing characters to the caller
> This guarantees that we don't regress userspace in any way but also caps
> any parsed value to ULONG_MAX and prevents things like file-max to become 0
> on overflow.


Kees Cook
Pixel Security

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