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Latest commit 1094efa Jun 30, 2015 Mark Seaborn rowhammer_test: Clean up logging for the "check for bit flips" step
Before, the logging was untidy and it wasn't clear what "check" referred to.

Output before:

Iteration 4 (after 4.50s)
  Took 96.7 ms per address set
  Took 0.966795 sec in total for 10 address sets
  Took 22.380 nanosec per memory access (for 43200000 memory accesses)
  This gives 357469 accesses per address per 64 ms refresh period
  (check took 0.104717s)

Output after:

Iteration 4 (after 4.42s)
  Took 99.7 ms per address set
  Took 0.997074 sec in total for 10 address sets
  Took 23.080 nanosec per memory access (for 43200000 memory accesses)
  This gives 346614 accesses per address per 64 ms refresh period
  Checking for bit flips took 0.104433 sec

rowhammer_test_ext: Extended version of rowhammer_test

This directory contains an extended version of rowhammer_test which reports physical memory addresses.

rowhammer_test_ext has the following differences from rowhammer_test:

  • It reports the physical addresses of victim locations (memory locations where bit flips occur) and aggressor locations (pairs of memory locations which cause the bit flips when accessed).

    When rowhammer_test_ext finds that accessing a batch of addresses produces a bit flip, the program tries to narrow down which pair of addresses in the batch will reproduce the bit flip.

  • This version is Linux-specific, because it uses /proc/self/pagemap to find the physical addresses of pages.

  • This version keeps on running when it finds a bit flip, rather than exiting.

How to run the test


If you want to save the results, you can run:

./rowhammer_test_ext 2>&1 | tee -a log_file

Why a separate "extended version"? is based on, but I am keeping them separate so that stays as simple and portable as possible. is a very simple demonstration of how to do row hammering using random address selection, and I don't want to clutter it with Linux-specific code that might fail to build or run on other flavours of Unix.

Output format

When the program finds a pair of aggressor addresses that reproduce a bit flip, it outputs a line of the following format:

RESULT PAIR,addr_agg1,addr_agg2,addr_victim,bit_number,flips_to


  • addr_agg1 and addr_agg2 are the physical addresses of the aggressor locations.

  • addr_victim is the physical address of the 64-bit victim location, where the bit flip occurred.

  • bit_number is the number of the bit that flipped within the 64-bit victim location.

    This is useful for checking whether the bit flip can be used for particular exploits, such as the PTE-based exploit (described in the blog post) which involves flipping particular bits in a page table entry (PTE).

  • flips_to is the value that the bit flipped to, either 0 or 1. (However, note that the test currently initialises memory to all 1s, which means that flips_to will be 0.)


RESULT PAIR,0x194d63000,0x194cf8000,0x194d27b30,16,0