[PATCH] fs: Preventing READ_IMPLIES_EXEC Propagation

Catalin Marinas catalin.marinas at arm.com
Wed Apr 19 03:33:14 PDT 2017

On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 09:01:52PM +0100, Peter Maydell wrote:
> On 18 April 2017 at 18:01, Catalin Marinas <catalin.marinas at arm.com> wrote:
> > On Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 08:33:52PM +0800, dongbo (E) wrote:
> >> From: Dong Bo <dongbo4 at huawei.com>
> >>
> >> In load_elf_binary(), once the READ_IMPLIES_EXEC flag is set,
> >> the flag is propagated to its child processes, even the elf
> >> files are marked as not requiring executable stack. It may
> >> cause superfluous operations on some arch, e.g.
> >> __sync_icache_dcache on aarch64 due to a PROT_READ mmap is
> >> also marked as PROT_EXEC.
> > That's affecting most architectures with a risk of ABI breakage. We
> > could do it on arm64 only, though I'm not yet clear on the ABI
> > implications (at a first look, there shouldn't be any).
> Is there a reason why it isn't just straightforwardly a bug
> (which we could fix) to make READ_IMPLIES_EXEC propagate to
> child processes?

While I agree that it looks like a bug, if there are user programs
relying on such bug we call it "ABI". On arm64, I don't think there is
anything relying on inheriting READ_IMPLIES_EXEC but I wouldn't change
the compat task handling without the corresponding change in arch/arm.

> AFAICT this should be per-process: just because
> init happens not to have been (re)compiled to permit non-executable
> stacks doesn't mean every process on the system needs to have
> an executable stack.

I think this also affects the heap if brk(2) is used (via
VM_DATA_DEFAULT_FLAGS though I guess malloc mostly uses mmap these

> Behaviour shouldn't be variable across architectures either, I would
> hope.

The behaviour has already been variable for a long time. Even on x86,
AFAICT x86_32 differs from x86_64 in this respect.

Anyway, the patch should be posted to linux-arch for a cross-arch


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