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Date:   Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:37:49 -0500
From:   Steven Rostedt <>
Cc:     Ingo Molnar <>,
        Andrew Morton <>,
        Kees Cook <>,
        Oleg Nesterov <>,
        David Windsor <>,
        Hans Liljestrand <>,
        Srikar Dronamraju <>,
        Elena Reshetova <>
Subject: [for-next][PATCH 12/29] uprobes: convert uprobe.ref to refcount_t

From: Elena Reshetova <>

atomic_t variables are currently used to implement reference
counters with the following properties:
 - counter is initialized to 1 using atomic_set()
 - a resource is freed upon counter reaching zero
 - once counter reaches zero, its further
   increments aren't allowed
 - counter schema uses basic atomic operations
   (set, inc, inc_not_zero, dec_and_test, etc.)

Such atomic variables should be converted to a newly provided
refcount_t type and API that prevents accidental counter overflows
and underflows. This is important since overflows and underflows
can lead to use-after-free situation and be exploitable.

The variable uprobe.ref is used as pure reference counter.
Convert it to refcount_t and fix up the operations.

**Important note for maintainers:

Some functions from refcount_t API defined in lib/refcount.c
have different memory ordering guarantees than their atomic
The full comparison can be seen in and it is hopefully soon
in state to be merged to the documentation tree.
Normally the differences should not matter since refcount_t provides
enough guarantees to satisfy the refcounting use cases, but in
some rare cases it might matter.
Please double check that you don't have some undocumented
memory guarantees for this variable usage.

For the uprobe.ref it might make a difference
in following places:
 - put_uprobe(): decrement in refcount_dec_and_test() only
   provides RELEASE ordering and control dependency on success
   vs. fully ordered atomic counterpart


Suggested-by: Kees Cook <>
Acked-by: Oleg Nesterov <>
Reviewed-by: David Windsor <>
Reviewed-by: Hans Liljestrand <>
Reviewed-by: Srikar Dronamraju <>
Signed-off-by: Elena Reshetova <>
Signed-off-by: Steven Rostedt (VMware) <>
 kernel/events/uprobes.c | 8 ++++----
 1 file changed, 4 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)

diff --git a/kernel/events/uprobes.c b/kernel/events/uprobes.c
index 8aef47ee7bfa..0a8bf7a4fc5e 100644
--- a/kernel/events/uprobes.c
+++ b/kernel/events/uprobes.c
@@ -66,7 +66,7 @@ static struct percpu_rw_semaphore dup_mmap_sem;
 struct uprobe {
 	struct rb_node		rb_node;	/* node in the rb tree */
-	atomic_t		ref;
+	refcount_t		ref;
 	struct rw_semaphore	register_rwsem;
 	struct rw_semaphore	consumer_rwsem;
 	struct list_head	pending_list;
@@ -560,13 +560,13 @@ set_orig_insn(struct arch_uprobe *auprobe, struct mm_struct *mm, unsigned long v
 static struct uprobe *get_uprobe(struct uprobe *uprobe)
-	atomic_inc(&uprobe->ref);
+	refcount_inc(&uprobe->ref);
 	return uprobe;
 static void put_uprobe(struct uprobe *uprobe)
-	if (atomic_dec_and_test(&uprobe->ref)) {
+	if (refcount_dec_and_test(&uprobe->ref)) {
 		 * If application munmap(exec_vma) before uprobe_unregister()
 		 * gets called, we don't get a chance to remove uprobe from
@@ -657,7 +657,7 @@ static struct uprobe *__insert_uprobe(struct uprobe *uprobe)
 	rb_link_node(&uprobe->rb_node, parent, p);
 	rb_insert_color(&uprobe->rb_node, &uprobes_tree);
 	/* get access + creation ref */
-	atomic_set(&uprobe->ref, 2);
+	refcount_set(&uprobe->ref, 2);
 	return u;

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