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Re: [RFC][AArch64] Add support for system register based stack protector canary access

On Mon, 3 Dec 2018 at 10:55, Ramana Radhakrishnan
<> wrote:
> For quite sometime the kernel guys, (more specifically Ard) have been
> talking about using a system register (sp_el0) and an offset from that
> for a canary based access. This patchset adds support for a new set of
> command line options similar to how powerpc has done this.
> I don't intend to change the defaults in userland, we've discussed this
> for user-land in the past and as far as glibc and userland is concerned
> we stick to the options as currently existing. The system register
> option is really for the kernel to use along with an offset as they
> control their ABI and this is a decision for them to make.
> I did consider sticking this all under a mcmodel=kernel-small option but
> thought that would be a bit too aggressive. There is very little error
> checking I can do in terms of the system register being used and really
> the assembler would barf quite quickly in case things go wrong. I've
> managed to rebuild Ard's kernel tree with an additional patch that
> I will send to him. I haven't managed to boot this kernel.
> There was an additional question asked about the performance
> characteristics of this but it's a security feature and the kernel
> doesn't have the luxury of a hidden symbol. Further since the kernel
> uses sp_el0 for access everywhere and if they choose to use the same
> register I don't think the performance characteristics would be too bad,
> but that's a decision for the kernel folks to make when taking in the
> feature into the kernel.
> I still need to add some tests and documentation in invoke.texi but
> this is at the stage where it would be nice for some other folks
> to look at this.
> The difference in code generated is as below.
> extern void bar (char *);
> int foo (void)
> {
>    char a[100];
>    bar (&a);
> }
> $GCC -O2  -fstack-protector-strong  vs
> -mstack-protector-guard-reg=sp_el0 -mstack-protector-guard=sysreg
> -mstack-protector-guard-offset=1024 -fstack-protector-strong
> --- tst.s       2018-12-03 09:46:21.174167443 +0000
> +++ tst.s.1     2018-12-03 09:46:03.546257203 +0000
> @@ -15,15 +15,14 @@
>         mov     x29, sp
>         str     x19, [sp, 16]
>         .cfi_offset 19, -128
> -       adrp    x19, __stack_chk_guard
> -       add     x19, x19, :lo12:__stack_chk_guard
> -       ldr     x0, [x19]
> -       str     x0, [sp, 136]
> -       mov     x0,0
> +       mrs     x19, sp_el0
>         add     x0, sp, 32
> +       ldr     x1, [x19, 1024]
> +       str     x1, [sp, 136]
> +       mov     x1,0
>         bl      bar
>         ldr     x0, [sp, 136]
> -       ldr     x1, [x19]
> +       ldr     x1, [x19, 1024]
>         eor     x1, x0, x1
>         cbnz    x1, .L5
> I will be afk tomorrow and day after but this is to elicit some comments
> and for Ard to try this out with his kernel patches.

Thanks Ramana. I managed to build and run a complete kernel (including
modules) on a bare metal system, and everything works as expected.

The only thing I'd like to confirm with you is the logic wrt the
command line arguments, more specifically, if/when all 3 arguments
have to appear, and whether they are permitted to appear if
-fstack-protector is not set.

This is relevant given that we invoke the compiler in 3 different ways:
- at the configure stage, we invoke the compiler with some/all of
these options to decide whether the feature is supported, but the
actual offset is not known, but also irrelevant
- we invoke the compiler to build the header file that actually gives
us the offset to pass to later invocations
- finally, all kernel objects are built with all 3 arguments passed on
the command line

It looks like your code permits -mstack-protector-guard-reg at any
time, but only permits -mstack-protector-guard-offset if
-mstack-protector-guard is set to sysreg (and thus set explicitly,
since the default is global). Is that intentional? Can we expect this
to remain like that?

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