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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/4] arch/x86: implement the process_vm_exec syscall
On Wed, Apr 14, 2021 at 7:59 AM Andrei Vagin <> wrote:
> This change introduces the new system call:
> process_vm_exec(pid_t pid, struct sigcontext *uctx, unsigned long flags,
> siginfo_t * uinfo, sigset_t *sigmask, size_t sizemask)
> process_vm_exec allows to execute the current process in an address
> space of another process.
> process_vm_exec swaps the current address space with an address space of
> a specified process, sets a state from sigcontex and resumes the process.
> When a process receives a signal or calls a system call,
> process_vm_exec saves the process state back to sigcontext, restores the
> origin address space, restores the origin process state, and returns to
> userspace.
> If it was interrupted by a signal and the signal is in the user_mask,
> the signal is dequeued and information about it is saved in uinfo.
> If process_vm_exec is interrupted by a system call, a synthetic siginfo
> for the SIGSYS signal is generated.
> The behavior of this system call is similar to PTRACE_SYSEMU but
> everything is happing in the context of one process, so
> process_vm_exec shows a better performance.
> PTRACE_SYSEMU is primarily used to implement sandboxes (application
> kernels) like User-mode Linux or gVisor. These type of sandboxes
> intercepts applications system calls and acts as the guest kernel.
> A simple benchmark, where a "tracee" process executes systems calls in a
> loop and a "tracer" process traps syscalls and handles them just
> incrementing the tracee instruction pointer to skip the syscall
> instruction shows that process_vm_exec works more than 5 times faster
> +long swap_vm_exec_context(struct sigcontext __user *uctx)
> +{
> + struct sigcontext ctx = {};
> + sigset_t set = {};
> +
> +
> + if (copy_from_user(&ctx, uctx, CONTEXT_COPY_SIZE))
> + return -EFAULT;
> + /* A floating point state is managed from user-space. */
> + if (ctx.fpstate != 0)
> + return -EINVAL;
> + if (!user_access_begin(uctx, sizeof(*uctx)))
> + return -EFAULT;
> + unsafe_put_sigcontext(uctx, NULL, current_pt_regs(), (&set), Efault);
> + user_access_end();
> +
> + if (__restore_sigcontext(current_pt_regs(), &ctx, 0))
> + goto badframe;
> +
> + return 0;
> +Efault:
> + user_access_end();
> +badframe:
> + signal_fault(current_pt_regs(), uctx, "swap_vm_exec_context");
> + return -EFAULT;
> +}

Comparing the pieces of context that restore_sigcontext() restores
with what a normal task switch does (see __switch_to() and callees), I
noticed: On CPUs with FSGSBASE support, I think sandboxed code could
overwrite FSBASE/GSBASE using the WRFSBASE/WRGSBASE instructions,
causing the supervisor to access attacker-controlled addresses when it
tries to access a thread-local variable like "errno"? Signal handling
saves the segment registers, but not the FS/GS base addresses.

jannh@laptop:~/test$ cat signal_gsbase.c
// compile with -mfsgsbase
#include <stdio.h>
#include <signal.h>
#include <immintrin.h>

void signal_handler(int sig, siginfo_t *info, void *ucontext_) {
puts("signal handler");

int main(void) {
struct sigaction new_act = {
.sa_sigaction = signal_handler,
.sa_flags = SA_SIGINFO
sigaction(SIGUSR1, &new_act, NULL);

printf("original gsbase is 0x%lx\n", _readgsbase_u64());
printf("post-signal gsbase is 0x%lx\n", _readgsbase_u64());
jannh@laptop:~/test$ gcc -o signal_gsbase signal_gsbase.c -mfsgsbase
jannh@laptop:~/test$ ./signal_gsbase
original gsbase is 0x0
signal handler
post-signal gsbase is 0x12345678

So to make this usable for a sandboxing usecase, you'd also have to
save and restore FSBASE/GSBASE, just like __switch_to().

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