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SubjectRe: [Xen-devel] [PATCH -tip 0/2] x86: Prohibit kprobes on XEN_EMULATE_PREFIX
On Thu, 5 Sep 2019 14:31:56 +0100
Andrew Cooper <> wrote:

> >>> The KVM version was added in c/s 6c86eedc206dd1f9d37a2796faa8e6f2278215d2
> > Hmm, I think I might misunderstand what the "emulate prefix"... that is not
> > a prefix which replace actual prefix, but just works like an escape sequence.
> > Thus the next instruction can have any x86 prefix, correct?
> There is a bit of history here :)
> Originally, 13 years ago, Xen invented the "Force Emulate Prefix", which
> was the sequence:
> ud2a; .ascii 'xen'; cpuid
> which hit the #UD handler and was recognised as a request for
> virtualised CPUID information.  This was for ring-deprivileged
> virtualisation, and is needed because the CPUID instruction itself
> doesn't trap to the hypervisor.
> Following some security issues in our instruction emulator, I reused
> this prefix with VT-x/SVM guests for testing purposes.  It behaves in a
> similar manner - when enabled, it is recognised in #UD exception
> intercept, and causes Xen to add 5 to the instruction pointer, then
> emulate the instruction starting there.
> Then various folk thought that having the same kind of ability to test
> KVM's instruction emulator would be a good idea, so they borrowed the idea.
> From a behaviour point of view, it is an opaque 5 bytes which means
> "break into the hypervisor, then emulate the following instruction".
> The name "prefix" is unfortunate.  It was named thusly because from the
> programmers point of view, it was something you put before the CPUID
> instruction which wanted to be emulated.  It is not related to x86
> instruction concept of a prefix.

OK, then we should not use the insn->prefixes for those escape sequences.

Thank you,

Masami Hiramatsu <>

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