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Subject[PATCHv2 1/2] ipc, msg: fix message length check for negative values
On 64 bit systems the test for negative message sizes is bogus as the
size, which may be positive when evaluated as a long, will get truncated
to an int when passed to load_msg(). So a long might very well contain a
positive value but when truncated to an int it would become negative.

That in combination with a small negative value of msg_ctlmax (which will
be promoted to an unsigned type for the comparison against msgsz, making
it a big positive value and therefore make it pass the check) will lead
to two problems: 1/ The kmalloc() call in alloc_msg() will allocate a
too small buffer as the addition of alen is effectively a subtraction.
2/ The copy_from_user() call in load_msg() will first overflow the
buffer with userland data and then, when the userland access generates
an access violation, the fixup handler copy_user_handle_tail() will try
to fill the remainder with zeros -- roughly 4GB. That almost instantly
results in a system crash or reset.

,-[ Reproducer (needs to be run as root) ]--
| #include <sys/stat.h>
| #include <sys/msg.h>
| #include <unistd.h>
| #include <fcntl.h>
| int main(void) {
| long msg = 1;
| int fd;
| fd = open("/proc/sys/kernel/msgmax", O_WRONLY);
| write(fd, "-1", 2);
| close(fd);
| msgsnd(0, &msg, 0xfffffff0, IPC_NOWAIT);
| return 0;
| }

Fix the issue by preventing msgsz from getting truncated by consistently
using size_t for the message length. This way the size checks in
do_msgsnd() could still be passed with a negative value for msg_ctlmax
but we would fail on the buffer allocation in that case and error out.

Also change the type of m_ts from int to size_t to avoid similar
nastiness in other code paths -- it is used in similar constructs, i.e.
signed vs. unsigned checks. It should never become negative under normal
circumstances, though.

Setting msg_ctlmax to a negative value is an odd configuration and
should be prevented. As that might break existing userland, it will be
handled in a separate commit so it could easily be reverted and reworked
without reintroducing the above described bug.

Hardening mechanisms for user copy operations would have catched that
bug early -- e.g. checking slab object sizes on user copy operations as
the usercopy feature of the PaX patch does. Or, for that matter, detect
the long vs. int sign change due to truncation, as the size overflow
plugin of the very same patch does.

Signed-off-by: Mathias Krause <>
Cc: Andrew Morton <>
Cc: Pax Team <>
Cc: # v2.3.27+ -- yes, that old ;)
- pass size_t to all users instead of checking for the truncation case,
as per Linus

include/linux/msg.h | 6 +++---
ipc/msgutil.c | 20 ++++++++++----------
ipc/util.h | 4 ++--
3 files changed, 15 insertions(+), 15 deletions(-)

diff --git a/include/linux/msg.h b/include/linux/msg.h
index 391af8d..e21f9d4 100644
--- a/include/linux/msg.h
+++ b/include/linux/msg.h
@@ -6,9 +6,9 @@

/* one msg_msg structure for each message */
struct msg_msg {
- struct list_head m_list;
- long m_type;
- int m_ts; /* message text size */
+ struct list_head m_list;
+ long m_type;
+ size_t m_ts; /* message text size */
struct msg_msgseg* next;
void *security;
/* the actual message follows immediately */
diff --git a/ipc/msgutil.c b/ipc/msgutil.c
index 491e71f..4f840b3 100644
--- a/ipc/msgutil.c
+++ b/ipc/msgutil.c
@@ -41,15 +41,15 @@ struct msg_msgseg {
/* the next part of the message follows immediately */

-#define DATALEN_MSG (int)(PAGE_SIZE-sizeof(struct msg_msg))
-#define DATALEN_SEG (int)(PAGE_SIZE-sizeof(struct msg_msgseg))
+#define DATALEN_MSG (PAGE_SIZE-sizeof(struct msg_msg))
+#define DATALEN_SEG (PAGE_SIZE-sizeof(struct msg_msgseg))

-static struct msg_msg *alloc_msg(int len)
+static struct msg_msg *alloc_msg(size_t len)
struct msg_msg *msg;
struct msg_msgseg **pseg;
- int alen;
+ size_t alen;

alen = min(len, DATALEN_MSG);
msg = kmalloc(sizeof(*msg) + alen, GFP_KERNEL);
@@ -80,12 +80,12 @@ out_err:
return NULL;

-struct msg_msg *load_msg(const void __user *src, int len)
+struct msg_msg *load_msg(const void __user *src, size_t len)
struct msg_msg *msg;
struct msg_msgseg *seg;
int err = -EFAULT;
- int alen;
+ size_t alen;

msg = alloc_msg(len);
if (msg == NULL)
@@ -117,8 +117,8 @@ out_err:
struct msg_msg *copy_msg(struct msg_msg *src, struct msg_msg *dst)
struct msg_msgseg *dst_pseg, *src_pseg;
- int len = src->m_ts;
- int alen;
+ size_t len = src->m_ts;
+ size_t alen;

BUG_ON(dst == NULL);
if (src->m_ts > dst->m_ts)
@@ -147,9 +147,9 @@ struct msg_msg *copy_msg(struct msg_msg *src, struct msg_msg *dst)
return ERR_PTR(-ENOSYS);
-int store_msg(void __user *dest, struct msg_msg *msg, int len)
+int store_msg(void __user *dest, struct msg_msg *msg, size_t len)
- int alen;
+ size_t alen;
struct msg_msgseg *seg;

alen = min(len, DATALEN_MSG);
diff --git a/ipc/util.h b/ipc/util.h
index f2f5036..59d78aa 100644
--- a/ipc/util.h
+++ b/ipc/util.h
@@ -148,9 +148,9 @@ int ipc_parse_version (int *cmd);

extern void free_msg(struct msg_msg *msg);
-extern struct msg_msg *load_msg(const void __user *src, int len);
+extern struct msg_msg *load_msg(const void __user *src, size_t len);
extern struct msg_msg *copy_msg(struct msg_msg *src, struct msg_msg *dst);
-extern int store_msg(void __user *dest, struct msg_msg *msg, int len);
+extern int store_msg(void __user *dest, struct msg_msg *msg, size_t len);

extern void recompute_msgmni(struct ipc_namespace *);


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