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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2] net: usb: rtl8150: prevent set_ethernet_addr from setting uninit address

On 02-10-2020 17:24, Greg KH wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 02, 2020 at 05:04:13PM +0530, Anant Thazhemadam wrote:
>> On 02/10/20 7:45 am, David Miller wrote:
>>> From: Anant Thazhemadam <>
>>> Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2020 13:02:20 +0530
>>>> When get_registers() fails (which happens when usb_control_msg() fails)
>>>> in set_ethernet_addr(), the uninitialized value of node_id gets copied
>>>> as the address.
>>>> Checking for the return values appropriately, and handling the case
>>>> wherein set_ethernet_addr() fails like this, helps in avoiding the
>>>> mac address being incorrectly set in this manner.
>>>> Reported-by:
>>>> Tested-by:
>>>> Signed-off-by: Anant Thazhemadam <>
>>>> Acked-by: Petko Manolov <>
>>> First, please remove "Linux-kernel-mentees" from the Subject line.
>>> All patch submitters should have their work judged equally, whoever
>>> they are. So this Subject text gives no extra information, and it
>>> simply makes scanning Subject lines in one's mailer more difficult.
>> I will keep that in mind for all future submissions. Thank you.
>>> Second, when a MAC address fails to probe a random MAC address should
>>> be selected. We have helpers for this. This way an interface still
>>> comes up and is usable, even in the event of a failed MAC address
>>> probe.
>> Okay... I see.
>> But this patch is about ensuring that an uninitialized variable's
>> value (whatever that may be) is not set as the ethernet address
>> blindly (without any form of checking if get_registers() worked
>> as expected, or not). And I didn't think uninitialized values being
>> set as MAC address was considered a good outcome (after all, it
>> seemed to have triggered a bug), especially when it could have
>> been avoided by introducing a simple check that doesn't break
>> anything.
> If the read from the device for the MAC address fails, don't abort the
> whole probe process and make the device not work at all, call the
> networking core to assign a random MAC address.
>> However, if I was mistaken, and if that is something that we can live
>> with after all, then I don't really see the understand the purpose of
>> similar checks being made (in all the many places that the return
>> value of get_registers() (or a similar function gets checked) in the first
>> place at all.
> Different values and registers determine what should be done with an
> error. It's all relative.
> For this type of error, we should gracefully recover and keep on going.
> For others, maybe we just ignore the issue, or log it, or something
> else, it all depends.
> hope this helps,
> greg k-h
Yes, this clears things up for me. I'll see to it that this gets done in a v3.


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