I am Seunghun Han and a senior security researcher at National Security
Research Institute of South Korea.

I found a critical security issue which can make kernel panic in userspace.
After analyzing the issue carefully, I found that MCE driver in the kernel
has a problem which can be occurred in SMP environment.

The check_interval file in
/sys/devices/system/machinecheck/machinecheck<cpu number> directory is a
global timer value for MCE polling. If it is changed by one CPU, MCE driver
in kernel calls mce_restart() function and broadcasts the event to other
CPUs to delete and restart MCE polling timer.

The __mcheck_cpu_init_timer() function which is called by mce_restart()
function initializes the mce_timer variable, and the "lock" in mce_timer is
also reinitialized. If more than one CPU write a specific value to
check_interval file concurrently, one can initialize the "lock" in mce_timer
while the others are handling "lock" in mce_timer. This problem causes some
synchronization errors such as kernel panic and kernel hang.

It is a critical security problem because the attacker can make kernel panic
by writing a value to the check_interval file in userspace, and it can be
used for Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack.

To fix this problem, I changed the __mcheck_cpu_init_timer() function to
reuse mce_timer instead of initializing it. The purpose of the function is
to restart the timer and it can be archived by calling

Signed-off-by: Seunghun Han <kkama...@gmail.com>
 arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c | 5 +++--
 1 file changed, 3 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c b/arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c
index 3d8c573a9a27..d72f2f74f4d7 100644
--- a/arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c
+++ b/arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c
@@ -1771,7 +1771,6 @@ static void __mcheck_cpu_init_timer(void)
        struct timer_list *t = this_cpu_ptr(&mce_timer);
-       timer_setup(t, mce_timer_fn, TIMER_PINNED);
@@ -2029,8 +2028,10 @@ static void mce_enable_ce(void *all)
-       if (all)
+       if (all) {
+               del_timer_sync(this_cpu_ptr(&mce_timer));
+       }
 static struct bus_type mce_subsys = {

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