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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 1/3] signal: Ensure every siginfo we send has all bits initialized
Dave Martin <> writes:

> Hmmm
> memset()/clear_siginfo() may ensure that there are no uninitialised
> explicit fields except for those in inactive union members, but I'm not
> sure that this approach is guaranteed to sanitise the padding seen by
> userspace.
> Rationale below, though it's a bit theoretical...
> With this in mind, I tend agree with Linus that hiding memset() calls
> from the maintainer may be a bad idea unless they are also hidden from
> the compiler. If the compiler sees the memset() it may be able to
> optimise it in ways that wouldn't be possible for some other random
> external function call, including optimising all or part of the call
> out.
> As a result, the breakdown into individual put_user()s etc. in
> copy_siginfo_to_user() may still be valuable even if all paths have the
> memset().

The breakdown into individual put_user()s is known to be problematically
slow, and is actually wrong.

Even exclusing the SI_USER duplication in a small number of cases the
fields filled out in siginfo by architecture code are not the fields
that copy_siginfo_to_user is copying. Which is much worse. The code
looks safe but is not.

My intention is to leave 0 instances of clear_siginfo in the
architecture specific code. Ideally struct siginfo will be limited to
kernel/signal.c but I am not certain I can quite get that far.
The function do_coredump appears to have a legit need for siginfo.

> (Rationale for an arch/arm example:)
>> diff --git a/arch/arm/vfp/vfpmodule.c b/arch/arm/vfp/vfpmodule.c
>> index 4c375e11ae95..adda3fc2dde8 100644
>> --- a/arch/arm/vfp/vfpmodule.c
>> +++ b/arch/arm/vfp/vfpmodule.c
>> @@ -218,8 +218,7 @@ static void vfp_raise_sigfpe(unsigned int sicode, struct pt_regs *regs)
>> {
>> siginfo_t info;
>> - memset(&info, 0, sizeof(info));
>> -
>> + clear_siginfo(&info);
>> info.si_signo = SIGFPE;
> /* by c11 (n1570) para 6 [1], all padding bytes in info now take
> unspecified values */
>> info.si_code = sicode;
>> info.si_addr = (void __user *)(instruction_pointer(regs) - 4);
> /* by c11 (n1570) para 7 [2], all bytes of the union info._sifields
> other than than those corresponding to _sigfault take unspecified
> values */
> So I don't see why the compiler needs to ensure that any of the affected
> bytes are zero: it could potentially skip a lot of the memset() as a
> result, in theory.
> I've not seen a compiler actually take advantage of that, but I'm now
> not sure what forbids it.

I took a quick look at gcc-4.9 which I have handy.

The passes -f-no-strict-aliasing which helps, and gcc actually
documents that if you access things through the union it will
not take advantage of c11.

gcc-4.9 Documents it this way:

> -fstrict-aliasing'
> Allow the compiler to assume the strictest aliasing rules
> applicable to the language being compiled. For C (and C++), this
> activates optimizations based on the type of expressions. In
> particular, an object of one type is assumed never to reside at the
> same address as an object of a different type, unless the types are
> almost the same. For example, an 'unsigned int' can alias an
> 'int', but not a 'void*' or a 'double'. A character type may alias
> any other type.
> Pay special attention to code like this:
> union a_union {
> int i;
> double d;
> };
> int f() {
> union a_union t;
> t.d = 3.0;
> return t.i;
> }
> The practice of reading from a different union member than the one
> most recently written to (called "type-punning") is common. Even
> with '-fstrict-aliasing', type-punning is allowed, provided the
> memory is accessed through the union type. So, the code above
> works as expected.

> If this can happen, I only see two watertight workarounds:
> 1) Ensure that there is no implicit padding in any UAPI structure, e.g.
> aeb1f39d814b: ("arm64/ptrace: Avoid uninitialised struct padding in
> fpr_set()"). This would include tail-padding of any union member that
> is smaller than the containing union.
> It would be significantly more effort to ensure this for siginfo though.
> 2) Poke all values directly into allocated or user memory directly
> via pointers to paddingless types; never assign to objects on the kernel
> stack if you care what ends up in the padding, e.g., what your
> copy_siginfo_to_user() does prior to this series.
> If I'm not barking up the wrong tree, memset() cannot generally be
> used to determine the value of padding bytes, but it may still be
> useful for forcing otherwise uninitialised members to sane initial
> values.
> This likely affects many more things than just siginfo.

Unless gcc has changed it's stance on type-punning through unions
or it's semantics with -fno-strict_aliasing we should be good.


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