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Date:   Thu, 23 Jun 2022 14:50:59 +0200
From:   Lukas Wunner <>
To:     Oliver Neukum <>,
        "David S. Miller" <>,
        Jakub Kicinski <>,
        Paolo Abeni <>, Jann Horn <>,
        Oleksij Rempel <>,
        Oleksij Rempel <>,
        Eric Dumazet <>
        Andrew Lunn <>,
        Jacky Chou <>, Willy Tarreau <>,
        Lino Sanfilippo <>,
        Philipp Rosenberger <>,
        Heiner Kallweit <>
Subject: [PATCH net-next v2] usbnet: Fix linkwatch use-after-free on

usbnet uses the work usbnet_deferred_kevent() to perform tasks which may
sleep.  On disconnect, completion of the work was originally awaited in
->ndo_stop().  But in 2003, that was moved to ->disconnect() by historic
commit "[PATCH] USB: usbnet, prevent exotic rtnl deadlock":

The change was made because back then, the kernel's workqueue
implementation did not allow waiting for a single work.  One had to wait
for completion of *all* work by calling flush_scheduled_work(), and that
could deadlock when waiting for usbnet_deferred_kevent() with rtnl_mutex
held in ->ndo_stop().

The commit solved one problem but created another:  It causes a
use-after-free in USB Ethernet drivers aqc111.c, asix_devices.c,
ax88179_178a.c, ch9200.c and smsc75xx.c:

* If the drivers receive a link change interrupt immediately before
  disconnect, they raise EVENT_LINK_RESET in their (non-sleepable)
  ->status() callback and schedule usbnet_deferred_kevent().
* usbnet_deferred_kevent() invokes the driver's ->link_reset() callback,
  which calls netif_carrier_{on,off}().
* That in turn schedules the work linkwatch_event().

Because usbnet_deferred_kevent() is awaited after unregister_netdev(),
netif_carrier_{on,off}() may operate on an unregistered netdev and
linkwatch_event() may run after free_netdev(), causing a use-after-free.

In 2010, usbnet was changed to only wait for a single instance of
usbnet_deferred_kevent() instead of *all* work by commit 23f333a2bfaf
("drivers/net: don't use flush_scheduled_work()").

Unfortunately the commit neglected to move the wait back to
->ndo_stop().  Rectify that omission at long last.

Reported-by: Jann Horn <>
Reported-by: Oleksij Rempel <>
Signed-off-by: Lukas Wunner <>
Cc: Oliver Neukum <>
 This seems to be Jakub's preferred way to solve the use-after-free.
 I've tagged the patch for net-next so that it can bake in linux-next
 for a few weeks, but it alternatively applies cleanly to net (in case
 maintainers are eager to get it into mainline).
 The patch supersedes the following prior attempts:
 usbnet: Fix use-after-free on disconnect

 net: linkwatch: ignore events for unregistered netdevs

 net: linkwatch: ignore events for unregistered netdevs (v2)

 drivers/net/usb/usbnet.c | 8 ++------
 1 file changed, 2 insertions(+), 6 deletions(-)

diff --git a/drivers/net/usb/usbnet.c b/drivers/net/usb/usbnet.c
index dc79811535c2..63868c1fbea4 100644
--- a/drivers/net/usb/usbnet.c
+++ b/drivers/net/usb/usbnet.c
@@ -849,13 +849,11 @@ int usbnet_stop (struct net_device *net)
 	mpn = !test_and_clear_bit(EVENT_NO_RUNTIME_PM, &dev->flags);
-	/* deferred work (task, timer, softirq) must also stop.
-	 * can't flush_scheduled_work() until we drop rtnl (later),
-	 * else workers could deadlock; so make workers a NOP.
-	 */
+	/* deferred work (timer, softirq, task) must also stop */
 	dev->flags = 0;
 	del_timer_sync (&dev->delay);
 	tasklet_kill (&dev->bh);
+	cancel_work_sync(&dev->kevent);
 	if (!pm)
@@ -1619,8 +1617,6 @@ void usbnet_disconnect (struct usb_interface *intf)
 	net = dev->net;
 	unregister_netdev (net);
-	cancel_work_sync(&dev->kevent);
 	if (dev->driver_info->unbind)

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