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Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:32:01 -0700
From: Kees Cook <>
To: Andrew Morton <>
Cc: Rik van Riel <>, Daniel Micay <>,
	Qualys Security Advisory <>,
	Thomas Gleixner <>,
	Ingo Molnar <>, "H. Peter Anvin" <>,, Alexander Viro <>,
	Dmitry Safonov <>,
	Andy Lutomirski <>,
	Grzegorz Andrejczuk <>,
	Masahiro Yamada <>,,,
Subject: [PATCH v2] binfmt_elf: Use ELF_ET_DYN_BASE only for PIE

The ELF_ET_DYN_BASE position was originally intended to keep loaders
away from ET_EXEC binaries. (For example, running "/lib/
/bin/cat" might cause the subsequent load of /bin/cat into where the
loader had been loaded.) With the advent of PIE (ET_DYN binaries with
an INTERP Program Header), ELF_ET_DYN_BASE continued to be used since
the kernel was only looking at ET_DYN. However, since ELF_ET_DYN_BASE
is traditionally set at the top 1/3rd of the TASK_SIZE, a substantial
portion of the address space is unused.

For 32-bit tasks when RLIMIT_STACK is set to RLIM_INFINITY, programs
are loaded below the mmap region. This means they can be made to collide
(CVE-2017-1000370) or nearly collide (CVE-2017-1000371) with pathological
stack regions. Lowering ELF_ET_DYN_BASE solves both by moving programs
above the mmap region in all cases, and will now additionally avoid
programs falling back to the mmap region by enforcing MAP_FIXED for
program loads (i.e. if it would have collided with the stack, now it
will fail to load instead of falling back to the mmap region).

To allow for a lower ELF_ET_DYN_BASE, loaders (ET_DYN without INTERP)
are loaded into the mmap region, leaving space available for either an
ET_EXEC binary with a fixed location or PIE being loaded into mmap by the
loader. Only PIE programs are loaded offset from ELF_ET_DYN_BASE, which
means architectures can now safely lower their values without risk of
loaders colliding with their subsequently loaded programs.

For 64-bit, ELF_ET_DYN_BASE is best set to 4GB to allow runtimes to use
the entire 32-bit address space for 32-bit pointers.

Thanks to PaX Team, Daniel Micay, and Rik van Riel for inspiration and
suggestions on how to implement this solution.

Fixes: d1fd836dcf00 ("mm: split ET_DYN ASLR from mmap ASLR")
Signed-off-by: Kees Cook <>
- bump x86_64 ELF_ET_DYN_BASE to 4GB, riel.
- moar comments
 arch/x86/include/asm/elf.h | 13 +++++-----
 fs/binfmt_elf.c            | 59 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-------
 2 files changed, 58 insertions(+), 14 deletions(-)

diff --git a/arch/x86/include/asm/elf.h b/arch/x86/include/asm/elf.h
index e8ab9a46bc68..1c18d83d3f09 100644
--- a/arch/x86/include/asm/elf.h
+++ b/arch/x86/include/asm/elf.h
@@ -245,12 +245,13 @@ extern int force_personality32;
 #define ELF_EXEC_PAGESIZE	4096
-/* This is the location that an ET_DYN program is loaded if exec'ed.  Typical
-   use of this is to invoke "./ someprog" to test out a new version of
-   the loader.  We need to make sure that it is out of the way of the program
-   that it will "exec", and that there is sufficient room for the brk.  */
-#define ELF_ET_DYN_BASE		(TASK_SIZE / 3 * 2)
+ * This is the base location for PIE (ET_DYN with INTERP) loads. On
+ * 64-bit, this is raised to 4GB to leave the entire 32-bit address
+ * space open for things that want to use the area for 32-bit pointers.
+ */
+#define ELF_ET_DYN_BASE		(mmap_is_ia32() ? 0x000400000UL : \
+						  0x100000000UL)
 /* This yields a mask that user programs can use to figure out what
    instruction set this CPU supports.  This could be done in user space,
diff --git a/fs/binfmt_elf.c b/fs/binfmt_elf.c
index 5075fd5c62c8..7465c3ea5dd5 100644
--- a/fs/binfmt_elf.c
+++ b/fs/binfmt_elf.c
@@ -927,17 +927,60 @@ static int load_elf_binary(struct linux_binprm *bprm)
 		vaddr = elf_ppnt->p_vaddr;
+		/*
+		 * If we are loading ET_EXEC or we have already performed
+		 * the ET_DYN load_addr calculations, proceed normally.
+		 */
 		if (loc->elf_ex.e_type == ET_EXEC || load_addr_set) {
 			elf_flags |= MAP_FIXED;
 		} else if (loc->elf_ex.e_type == ET_DYN) {
-			/* Try and get dynamic programs out of the way of the
-			 * default mmap base, as well as whatever program they
-			 * might try to exec.  This is because the brk will
-			 * follow the loader, and is not movable.  */
-			load_bias = ELF_ET_DYN_BASE - vaddr;
-			if (current->flags & PF_RANDOMIZE)
-				load_bias += arch_mmap_rnd();
-			load_bias = ELF_PAGESTART(load_bias);
+			/*
+			 * This logic is run once for the first LOAD Program
+			 * Header for ET_DYN binaries to calculate the
+			 * randomization (load_bias) for all the LOAD
+			 * Program Headers, and to calculate the entire
+			 * size of the ELF mapping (total_size). (Note that
+			 * load_addr_set is set to true later once the
+			 * initial mapping is performed.)
+			 *
+			 * There are effectively two types of ET_DYN
+			 * binaries: programs (i.e. PIE: ET_DYN with INTERP)
+			 * and loaders (ET_DYN without INTERP, since they
+			 * _are_ the ELF interpreter). The loaders must
+			 * be loaded away from programs since the program
+			 * may otherwise collide with the loader (especially
+			 * for ET_EXEC which does not have a randomized
+			 * position). For example to handle invocations of
+			 * "./ someprog" to test out a new version of
+			 * the loader, the subsequent program that the
+			 * loader loads must avoid the loader itself, so
+			 * they cannot share the same load range. Sufficient
+			 * room for the brk must be allocated with the
+			 * loader as well, since brk must be available with
+			 * the loader.
+			 *
+			 * Therefore, programs are loaded offset from
+			 * ELF_ET_DYN_BASE and loaders are loaded into the
+			 * independently randomized mmap region (0 load_bias
+			 * without MAP_FIXED).
+			 */
+			if (elf_interpreter) {
+				load_bias = ELF_ET_DYN_BASE;
+				if (current->flags & PF_RANDOMIZE)
+					load_bias += arch_mmap_rnd();
+				elf_flags |= MAP_FIXED;
+			} else
+				load_bias = 0;
+			/*
+			 * Since load_bias is used for all subsequent loading
+			 * calculations, we must lower it by the first vaddr
+			 * so that the remaining calculations based on the
+			 * ELF vaddrs will be correctly offset. The result
+			 * is then page aligned.
+			 */
+			load_bias = ELF_PAGESTART(load_bias - vaddr);
 			total_size = total_mapping_size(elf_phdata,
 			if (!total_size) {

Kees Cook
Pixel Security

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