Linux 4.19 Kernel Getting STACKLEAK Feature
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 7 August 2018 at 12:09 AM EDT. 4 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
Another security hardening measure coming to the Linux kernel is STACKLEAK.

Kees Cook of Google queued STACKLEAK into one of his feature branches that will be sent in for the upcoming Linux 4.19 kernel.

STACKLEAK wipes out the kernel stack before returning from system calls. By clearing the kernel stack, it reduces possible leakage and can block some possible attack vectors, including stack clash attacks and uninitialized stack variable attacks. This STACKLEAK feature was ported to the mainline Linux kernel from an old code state of the GrSecurity/PaX kernel code back when those patches were public.

As part of the patch work is also the STACKLEAK plug-in for GCC that is used for tracking the kernel stack's lowest border and ensuring alloca() calls don't cause stack overflows.

This STACKLEAK mainlining work was spearheaded by Alexander Popov, a Russian Linux security researcher.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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