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Date:	Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:23:50 -0800
From:	Dave Hansen <>
To:	Andy Lutomirski <>
CC:	"" <>,
	Thomas Gleixner <>, X86 ML <>
Subject: Re: [RFC][PATCH 0/8] x86, mpx: Support 32-bit binaries on 64-bit

On 12/12/2014 04:11 PM, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 3:16 PM, Dave Hansen <> wrote:
>> On 12/12/2014 03:04 PM, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
>>> Anyway, do your patches handle the case where a 32-bit app maliciously
>>> executes a 64-bit mpx insn with a very large address?  I think it's
>>> okay, but I might have missed something.
>> You mean in the instruction decoder?  I haven't tried that case
>> explicitly, but I did do a substantial amount of testing throwing random
>> instruction streams at the decoder to make sure it never fell over.
>> (Well, mostly random, I made sure to throw the MPX opcodes in there a
>> bunch so it would get much deeper in to the decoder).
>> It's not about the instruction size, it's about the mode the CPU is in.
>> If a 32-bit app manages to switch over to 64-bit mode and doesn't tell
>> the kernel (TIF_IA32 remains set), then we'll treat it as a 32-bit
>> instruction.
> The insn decoder should probably use user_64bit_mode, not TIF_IA32.
> It's actually quite easy to far jump/call/ret or sigreturn to a
> different bitness.

There are number of examples of this in the kernel today:

#ifdef CONFIG_X86_64
                is_64bit = kernel_ip(to) || !test_thread_flag(TIF_IA32);
                insn_init(&insn, kaddr, size, is_64bit);

Are you saying that those need to get fixed up?

>> The kernel might end up going and looking for the bounds tables in some
>> funky places if the kernel and the hardware disagree about 32 vs. 64-bit
>> modes, but it's not going to do any harm since we treat all of the data
>> we get from MPX (instruction decoding, register contents, bounds table
>> contents, etc...) as completely untrusted.
>> It's a nice, paranoid thing to ask and I'm glad you brought it up
>> because I hadn't thought about it, but I don't think any harm can come
>> of it.
> Paranoia is fun!
> The only thing I'd really be worried about is if the code that turns
> va into bounds table offset generates some absurdly large offset as a
> result and causes a problem.

The instructions that get decoded have *NOTHING* to do with the mode
we're running in.  By the time we take a bounds fault and copy the
instruction in from the instruction pointer, we have absolutely no idea
what was actually being executed, no matter what mode we are running in.

I believe the instruction decoder already happily handles this.

Furthermore, we don't even *USE* the result of the instruction decode in
the kernel.  We toss it in to the siginfo and hand it out to userspace.
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