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

I found a 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 in store_int_with_restart() function
and broadcasts the event to other CPUs to delete and restart MCE polling

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. Other functions
such as set_ignore_ce(), set_cmci_disabled(), and mce_enable_ce() also
have synchronization problems.

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

To fix this problem, I added a mce_sysfs_mutex to serialize requests for
timer and sysfs functions.

Signed-off-by: Seunghun Han <kkama...@gmail.com>
Changes since v2: add a mutex to sysfs functions according to review
Changes since v1: add mce_sysfs_mutex according to review result.

 arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c | 20 +++++++++++++++++++-
 1 file changed, 19 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c b/arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c
index 706584681a4c..243f46a40efb 100644
--- a/arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c
+++ b/arch/x86/kernel/cpu/mcheck/mce.c
@@ -55,6 +55,7 @@
 #include "mce-internal.h"
 static DEFINE_MUTEX(mce_log_mutex);
+static DEFINE_MUTEX(mce_sysfs_mutex);
 #include <trace/events/mce.h>
@@ -2045,8 +2046,11 @@ static void mce_enable_ce(void *all)
-       if (all)
+       if (all) {
+               mutex_lock(&mce_sysfs_mutex);
+               mutex_unlock(&mce_sysfs_mutex);
+       }
 static struct bus_type mce_subsys = {
@@ -2090,6 +2094,7 @@ static ssize_t set_ignore_ce(struct device *s,
        if (kstrtou64(buf, 0, &new) < 0)
                return -EINVAL;
+       mutex_lock(&mce_sysfs_mutex);
        if (mca_cfg.ignore_ce ^ !!new) {
                if (new) {
                        /* disable ce features */
@@ -2102,6 +2107,8 @@ static ssize_t set_ignore_ce(struct device *s,
                        on_each_cpu(mce_enable_ce, (void *)1, 1);
+       mutex_unlock(&mce_sysfs_mutex);
        return size;
@@ -2114,6 +2121,7 @@ static ssize_t set_cmci_disabled(struct device *s,
        if (kstrtou64(buf, 0, &new) < 0)
                return -EINVAL;
+       mutex_lock(&mce_sysfs_mutex);
        if (mca_cfg.cmci_disabled ^ !!new) {
                if (new) {
                        /* disable cmci */
@@ -2125,6 +2133,8 @@ static ssize_t set_cmci_disabled(struct device *s,
                        on_each_cpu(mce_enable_ce, NULL, 1);
+       mutex_unlock(&mce_sysfs_mutex);
        return size;
@@ -2132,8 +2142,16 @@ static ssize_t store_int_with_restart(struct device *s,
                                      struct device_attribute *attr,
                                      const char *buf, size_t size)
+       unsigned long old_check_interval = check_interval;
        ssize_t ret = device_store_int(s, attr, buf, size);
+       if (check_interval == old_check_interval)
+               return ret;
+       mutex_lock(&mce_sysfs_mutex);
+       mutex_unlock(&mce_sysfs_mutex);
        return ret;

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