[lkml]   [2001]   [May]   [19]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
SubjectWhy side-effects on open(2) are evil. (was Re: [RFD w/info-PATCH] device arguments from lookup)
	Folks, before you get all excited about cramming side effects into
open(2), consider the following case:

1) opening "/dev/zero/start_nuclear_war" has a certain side effect.

2) Local user does the following:
ln -sf /dev/zero/start_nuclear_war bar
while true; do
mkdir foo
rmdir foo
ln -sf bar foo
rm foo

3) Comes the night and root runs (from crontab) updatedb(8). Said beast
includes find(1). With sufficiently bad timing find _will_ be tricked
into attempt to open foo. It will honestly lstat() it, all right. But
there's no way to make sure that subsequent open() on the found directory
will get the same object.

4) Side effect happens...

Similar scenarios can be found for other programs run by/as root, but I
think that the point is obvious - side effects on open() are not a good
idea. Yes, we can play with checking for O_DIRECTORY, yodda, yodda, but
I wouldn't bet a dime on security of a system with such side effects.
A lot of stuff relies on the fact that close(open(foo, O_RDONLY)) is a
no-op. Breaking that assumption is a Bad Thing(tm).

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at

 \ /
  Last update: 2005-03-22 12:53    [W:0.235 / U:1.924 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site