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From
SubjectRe: Local root exploit with kmod and modutils > 2.1.121
Date
On Tue, 14 Nov 2000 12:31:41 -0800, 
"Adam J. Richter" <adam@freya.yggdrasil.com> wrote:
>>The only secure fix I can see is to add SAFEMODE=1 to modprobe's
>>environment and change exec_modprobe.
>
> SAFEMODE may mean other things to other programs, so that

MOD_SAFEMODE.

> It would be much better to just add a command line option
>to modprobe that request_module() would cause it treat the following

Changing the command line is not an option. Kernel 2.2 still runs with
modutils 2.1.121, changing the request_module command line would break
people using modutils 2.1.121 and force them to upgrade, AC would kill
me. I needed a mechanism that would work with modutils 2.3 but have no
effect on modutils 2.1.121, remember that 2.1.121 does not have this
security exposure. It also had to work on 2.2 kernels because many
people are using moditils 2.3 on 2.2 kernels. SGI ship a 2.2 kernel
with devfs for their big machines, that needs modutils 2.3.

> Another possible approach would be to create a separate
>/sbin/safe_modprobe. modprobe already behaves differently
>based on whether argv[0] ends in "modprobe", "insmod", "depmod",
>or "rmmod". So this would be in keeping with that convention.
>It would also be trivial to retrofit old systems. Just have
>some system boot script do:
>
> echo /sbin/safe_modprobe > /proc/sys/kernel/modprobe

I thought about that but it assumes that users will add that line to
their scripts - not guaranteed. The fix needed a change that would
automatically detect that safe mode was required and not rely on manual
intervention. Especially with 30+ Linux distributions out there.

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