lists  /  announce  owl-users  owl-dev  john-users  john-dev  passwdqc-users  yescrypt  popa3d-users  /  oss-security  kernel-hardening  musl  sabotage  tlsify  passwords  /  crypt-dev  xvendor  /  Bugtraq  Full-Disclosure  linux-kernel  linux-netdev  linux-ext4  linux-hardening  PHC 
Open Source and information security mailing list archives
Hash Suite: Windows password security audit tool. GUI, reports in PDF.
[<prev] [next>] [<thread-prev] [thread-next>] [day] [month] [year] [list]
Date:	Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:29:30 -0700
From:	Alexei Starovoitov <>
To:	Andy Lutomirski <>
Cc:	Daniel Borkmann <>,
	"David S. Miller" <>,
	Ingo Molnar <>,
	Linus Torvalds <>,
	Steven Rostedt <>,
	Hannes Frederic Sowa <>,
	Chema Gonzalez <>,
	Eric Dumazet <>,
	Peter Zijlstra <>,
	Pablo Neira Ayuso <>,
	"H. Peter Anvin" <>,
	Andrew Morton <>,
	Kees Cook <>,
	Linux API <>,
	Network Development <>,
	LKML <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v11 net-next 00/12] eBPF syscall, verifier, testsuite

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 2:54 PM, Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:
>> the verifier log contains full trace. Last unsafe instruction + error
>> in many cases is useless. What we found empirically from using
>> it over last 2 years is that developers have different learning curve
>> to adjust to 'safe' style of C. Pretty much everyone couldn't
>> figure out why program is rejected based on last error. Therefore
>> verifier emits full log. From the 1st insn all the way till the last
>> 'unsafe' instruction. So the log is multiline output.
>> 'Understanding eBPF verifier messages' section of
>> Documentation/networking/filter.txt provides few trivial
>> examples of these multiline messages.
>> Like for the program:
>>   BPF_ST_MEM(BPF_DW, BPF_REG_10, -8, 0),
>>   BPF_MOV64_REG(BPF_REG_2, BPF_REG_10),
>>   BPF_ALU64_IMM(BPF_ADD, BPF_REG_2, -8),
>>   BPF_LD_MAP_FD(BPF_REG_1, 0),
>>   BPF_CALL_FUNC(BPF_FUNC_map_lookup_elem),
>>   BPF_JMP_IMM(BPF_JEQ, BPF_REG_0, 0, 1),
>>   BPF_ST_MEM(BPF_DW, BPF_REG_0, 4, 0),
>> the verifier log_buf is:
>>   0: (7a) *(u64 *)(r10 -8) = 0
>>   1: (bf) r2 = r10
>>   2: (07) r2 += -8
>>   3: (b7) r1 = 0
>>   4: (85) call 1
>>   5: (15) if r0 == 0x0 goto pc+1
>>    R0=map_ptr R10=fp
>>   6: (7a) *(u64 *)(r0 +4) = 0
>>   misaligned access off 4 size 8
>> It will surely change over time as verifier becomes smarter,
>> supports new types, optimizations and so on.
>> So this log is not an ABI. It's for humans to read.
>> The log explains _how_ verifier came to conclusion
>> that the program is unsafe.
> Given that you've already arranged (I think) for the verifier to be
> compilable in the kernel and in userspace, would it make more sense to
> have the kernel version just say yes or no and to make it easy for
> user code to retry verification in userspace if they want a full
> explanation?

Good memory :) Long ago I had a hack where I compiled
verifier.o for kernel and linked it with userspace wrappers to
have the same verifier for userspace. It was very fragile.
and maps were not separate objects and there were no fds.
It's not feasible anymore, since different subsystems
will configure different bpf_context and helper functions and
verifier output is dynamic based on maps that were created.
For example, if user's samples/bpf/sock_example.c does
bpf_create_map(HASH, sizeof(key) * 2, ...);
instead of
bpf_create_map(HASH, sizeof(key), ...);
the same program will be rejected in first case and will be
accepted in the second, because map sizes and ebpf
program expectations are mismatching.
For the 1st case verifier will complain that program is
trying to pass uninitialized stack into bpf_lookup(key,...)
method or stack may be out of bounds.
Human insight is needed to understand what is going on.

I think more important is that source of truth needs to be
in one place == kernel. If we have two verifiers they will
diverge sooner or later and cause confusion for users.
I think as long as we document that verifier log
messages are not cast in stone and will change, we're fine.
I consider them as continuation of compiler warnings/errors.
They are meant for humans and do change from time to time.
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe netdev" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at

Powered by blists - more mailing lists