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Showing posts from November, 2018

Pitfalls Using strcat

strcat is a C standard library call that concatenates strings. strncat is a similar call with a notion of bounds checking. Correct use of strcat and strncat can be problematic and it's easy for developers to use these APIs incorrectly. I'll outline some of the problems and show real code in Kali/Debian Linux that uses them incorrectly. Introduction Code review is necessary to aid secure development. Code review is also a primary tool used in vulnerability research. Although application development is popular today, systems languages like C are dominant in Operating Systems and in embedded devices.

The C standard library includes a number of string related APIs. Strings have long been a source of vulnerabilities in C and in this blog post, I'll highlight issues related to the strcat/strncat API.

The strcat/strncat API is defined in the Linux man pages as: char *strcat(char *dest, constchar *src);char *strncat(char *dest, constchar *src, size_tn); The strcat() function appen…

Memory Bugs in Multiple Linux Kernel Drivers using DebugFS

Multiple drivers in the Linux Kernel using the DebugFS follow a bug pattern enabling memory disclosure and corruption of heap allocated memory. Generally, kernel memory is copied back into user space using an incorrect length field leading to memory disclosure.

There's no need for concern. These bugs are almost completely mitigated by the kernel configuration CONFIG_HARDENED_USERCOPY, which is set as a default on many Linux distributions. In the code review below, only 1 bug out of 4 is not mitigated by this configuration. Additionally, these bugs have low impact because DebugFS is normally only enabled by kernel developers. It is unlikely for production kernels to enable this feature.
Introduction The Linux kernel is the heart of the operating system and controls things from device interfacing to process scheduling. DebugFS is a filesystem used internally by kernel developers to provide additional debugging information undesirable in production.

From Wikipedia,


debugfs is a special f…