Linux Kernel Memory Safety

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Title: Linux Kernel Memory Safety
Author: Liljestrand, Hans
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta, Tietojenkäsittelytieteen laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Computer Science
Helsingfors universitet, Matematisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för datavetenskap
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Datavetenskap
Computer science
Abstract: Linux kernel vulnerabilities are often long lived and in some cases challenging to patch after discovery. The current focus in upstream Linux security has therefore been on categorical protections against whole error classes, not only reactive patching of specific vulnerabilities. Our work contributes to these efforts by tackling memory errors in the Linux kernel from two different fronts. First, we contributed to the upstream Linux kernel by working on a mechanism to prevent use-after-free errors caused by reference counter overflows. Second, we explored the applicability of Intel MPX as a general mechanism to prevent spatial memory errors in the Linux kernel.

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