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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 03/13] usb: remove the usage of the list iterator after the loop

> On 17. Feb 2022, at 20:28, Linus Torvalds <> wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 17, 2022 at 10:50 AM Jakob Koschel <> wrote:
>> It is unsafe to assume that &req->req != _req can only evaluate
>> to false if the break within the list iterator is hit.
> I don't understand what problem you are trying to fix.
> Since "req" absolutely *has* to be stable for any of this code to be
> valid, then "&req->req" is stable and unambiguous too. The *only* way
> _req can point to it would be if we finished the iteration properly.
> So I don't see the unsafeness.
> Note that all this work with "speculative" execution fundamentally CAN
> NOT affect semantics of the code, yet this patch makes statements
> about exactly that.

I'm sorry for having created the confusion. I made this patch to support
the speculative safe list_for_each_entry() version but it is not actually
related to that. I do believe that this an actual bug and *could*
*potentially* be misused. I'll follow up with an example to illustrate that.

I agree that this has nothing to do with the speculative execution iterator
(apart from making it work) and should best be discussed separately.

I'll attach an example on how I think this code *can* become a problem.
Note that this highly depends on the used compiler and how the struct
offsets are laid out.

> That's not how CPU speculation works.
> CPU speculation can expose hidden information that is not
> "semantically important" (typically through cache access patterns, but
> that's not the only way). So it might be exposing information it
> shouldn't.
> But if speculation is actually changing semantics, then it's no longer
> "speculation" - it's just a bug, plain and simple (either a software
> bug due to insufficient serialization, or an actual hardware bug).
> IOW, I don't want to see these kinds of apparently pointless changes
> to list walking. The patches should explain what that SECONDARY hidden
> value you try to protect actually is for each case.
> This patch is basically not sensible. It just moves code around in a
> way that the compiler could have done anyway (or the compiler could
> decide to undo). It doesn't explain what the magic protected value is
> that shouldn't be leaked, and it leaves the code just looking odd and
> pointless.
> Linus

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