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SubjectRe: [PATCH 3/3] sysctl: detect overflows when converting to int
On 01.04.2015 00:45, Andrew Morton wrote:
> On Sun, 29 Mar 2015 21:28:29 +0200 Heinrich Schuchardt <xypron.glpk@gmx.de> wrote:
>
>> When converting unsigned long to int overflows may occur.
>> These currently are not detected when writing to the sysctl
>> file system.
>>
>> E.g. on a system where int has 32 bits and long has 64 bits
>> echo 0x800001234 > /proc/sys/kernel/threads-max
>> has the same effect as
>> echo 0x1234 > /proc/sys/kernel/threads-max
>>
>> The patch adds the missing check in do_proc_dointvec_conv.
>>
>> With the patch an overflow will result in an error EINVAL when
>> writing to the the sysctl file system.
>
> hm, why fix this? There's a small risk of breaking
> accidentally-working userspace, but I expect we can live with that.
>
> But how big a problem is this, really? This behaviour is quite
> expected, after all.
>

The typical user of a Linux system has never read the Kernel code and
possibly has limited programming experience.
Furthermore in Documentation/sysctl/kernel.txt there is no hint that
only 32-bit integers can be used.
So why should this typical user expect that on a 64-bit system
+3000000000 is considered a negative number?

Now that we know this is a bug why shouldn't we fix it?

Best regards

Heinrich



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