NULL-pointer dereference in ELF core dump, and proposed fix

John Whitney john.whitney at
Wed Dec 24 01:46:19 EST 2003


As stated in the subject, I've found a NULL-pointer dereference in the ELF
core dump code path, and wanted comments on my proposed solution.

In fs/binfmt_elf.c, elf_core_dump() calls elf_dump_thread_status().
elf_dump_thread_status calls elf_core_copy_task_fpregs() (elfcore.h), with a
second parameter (struct pt_regs *regs) of NULL.

This inlined routine in turn calls dump_fpu() (arch/ppc/kernel/process.c),
again with a NULL "regs" parameter.

dump_fpu immediately dereferences the regs parameter with the line:

if (regs->msr & MSR_FP)
    giveup_fpu (current);

This, obviously, causes a kernel oops.  My proposed solution to this problem
is to change the above line of code to

if (last_task_used_math == current)
    giveup_fpu (current);

Anyone see any problems with this change?

John Whitney

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