Re: Hashed pointer issues

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Mon Apr 30 2018 - 15:01:07 EST

On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 11:38 AM Kees Cook <keescook@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Something like this? (Untested.)

Looks workable.

> + /* If we have hw RNG, start hashing immediately. */
> + if (arch_has_random()) {
> + get_random_bytes_arch(&ptr_key, sizeof(ptr_key));
> + ptr_key_ready();
> + return 0;
> + }

Small tweak: you should check the return value of get_random_bytes_arch(),
because in theory it can fail.

Sadly, that's not actually how get_random_bytes_arch() really works - it
falls back on "get_random_bytes()" on failure instead, which is explicitly
against the whole point here.

So I think it would need some tweaking, with a new function entirely
(get_random_bytes_arch() with a failure return for "cannot fill buffer").

But that would be just a few more lines, because we could make the existing
get_random_bytes_arch() just use the failure-case thing.

So add a "get_hw_random_bytes()" that does that same loop in
get_random_bytes_arch(), but returns the number of bytes it filled in.

Then get_random_bytes_arch() turns into

got = get_hw_random_bytes(p, nbytes);
if (got < nbytes)
get_random_bytes(p+got, nbytes-got);

and the initialize_ptr_random() use would be something like

if (get_hw_random_bytes(&ptr_key, sizeof(ptr_key)) == sizeof(ptr_key)) {
return 0;


Maybe we could call the "get_hw_random_bytes()" something like
"get_early_random_bytes()" and the "use HW for it" is purely an
implementation detail?