[PATCH v18 06/13] namei: LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS: block magic-link resolution

Aleksa Sarai cyphar at cyphar.com
Fri Dec 6 14:13:31 UTC 2019

/* Background. */
There has always been a special class of symlink-like objects in procfs
(and a few other pseudo-filesystems) which allow for non-lexical
resolution of paths using nd_jump_link(). These "magic-links" do not
follow traditional mount namespace boundaries, and have been used
consistently in container escape attacks because they can be used to
trick unsuspecting privileged processes into resolving unexpected paths.

It is also non-trivial for userspace to unambiguously avoid resolving
magic-links, because they do not have a reliable indication that they
are a magic-link (in order to verify them you'd have to manually open
the path given by readlink(2) and then verify that the two file
descriptors reference the same underlying file, which is plagued with
possible race conditions or supplementary attack scenarios).

It would therefore be very helpful for userspace to be able to avoid
these symlinks easily, thus hopefully removing a tool from attackers'

This is part of a refresh of Al's AT_NO_JUMPS patchset[1] (which was a
variation on David Drysdale's O_BENEATH patchset[2], which in turn was
based on the Capsicum project[3]).

/* Userspace API. */
LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS will be exposed to userspace through openat2(2).

/* Semantics. */
Unlike most other LOOKUP flags (most notably LOOKUP_FOLLOW),
LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS applies to all components of the path.

With LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS, any magic-link path component encountered
during path resolution will yield -ELOOP. The handling of ~LOOKUP_FOLLOW
for a trailing magic-link is identical to LOOKUP_NO_SYMLINKS.


/* Testing. */
LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS is tested as part of the openat2(2) selftests.

[1]: https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20170429220414.GT29622@ZenIV.linux.org.uk/
[2]: https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/1415094884-18349-1-git-send-email-drysdale@google.com/
[3]: https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/1404124096-21445-1-git-send-email-drysdale@google.com/

Cc: Christian Brauner <christian.brauner at ubuntu.com>
Suggested-by: David Drysdale <drysdale at google.com>
Suggested-by: Al Viro <viro at zeniv.linux.org.uk>
Suggested-by: Andy Lutomirski <luto at kernel.org>
Suggested-by: Linus Torvalds <torvalds at linux-foundation.org>
Signed-off-by: Aleksa Sarai <cyphar at cyphar.com>
 fs/namei.c            | 10 +++++++++-
 include/linux/namei.h |  1 +
 2 files changed, 10 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/fs/namei.c b/fs/namei.c
index 303731935eb2..415a897729c8 100644
--- a/fs/namei.c
+++ b/fs/namei.c
@@ -867,13 +867,21 @@ static int nd_jump_root(struct nameidata *nd)
 int nd_jump_link(struct path *path)
+	int error = -ELOOP;
 	struct nameidata *nd = current->nameidata;
-	path_put(&nd->path);
+	if (unlikely(nd->flags & LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS))
+		goto err;
+	path_put(&nd->path);
 	nd->path = *path;
 	nd->inode = nd->path.dentry->d_inode;
 	nd->flags |= LOOKUP_JUMPED;
 	return 0;
+	path_put(path);
+	return error;
 static inline void put_link(struct nameidata *nd)
diff --git a/include/linux/namei.h b/include/linux/namei.h
index 0d86e75c04a7..1573b8493d98 100644
--- a/include/linux/namei.h
+++ b/include/linux/namei.h
 /* Scoping flags for lookup. */
 #define LOOKUP_NO_SYMLINKS	0x010000 /* No symlink crossing. */
+#define LOOKUP_NO_MAGICLINKS	0x020000 /* No nd_jump_link() crossing. */
 extern int path_pts(struct path *path);

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