[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH]configure: Enable pie for toolchain=hardened.

Michael Niedermayer michael at niedermayer.cc
Fri Oct 14 19:28:32 EEST 2016

On Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 12:56:56AM +0200, Andreas Cadhalpun wrote:
> On 12.10.2016 23:44, Carl Eugen Hoyos wrote:
> > 2016-10-12 19:04 GMT+02:00 Andreas Cadhalpun <andreas.cadhalpun at googlemail.com>:
> >> On 04.10.2016 12:24, Carl Eugen Hoyos wrote:
> >>> Sorry if I miss something but with this patch, the hardening_check
> >>> script succeeds here both for x86_32 and x86_64 (static and shared).
> >>
> >> This script uses a very simplistic approach for testing position
> >> independent executables.
> >> I think it just does the equivalent of 'readelf -h $PROGRAM | grep Type'.
> >> If the Type is EXEC, it's a normal executable, and if it is DYN, it
> >> assumes it's compiled as PIE.
> > 
> >> However, that doesn't guarantee that the executable is actually position
> >> independent, i.e. does not contain text relocations.
> > 
> > My understanding of PIE is (very) limited but I suspect text relocations
> > and PIE do not exclude each other.
> As I understand it the literal meaning of position independent code is
> code without text relocations, because those are what makes the code
> position dependent. So in this literal sense PIE and text relocations
> exclude each other.
> (The -fPIC/-fPIE flags tell the compiler to produce code without text
> relocations.)
> The additional complication for executables is that ASLR doesn't work for
> normal executables, because they are always mapped to the same point in
> address space. The basic idea of PIE is to build the executables actually
> as shared libraries, so that they can benefit from ASLR just as normal
> shared libraries.
> (The '-pie' flag tells the linker to produce such an executable.)
> However, such a '-pie' executable is not necessarily position independent
> in the literal sense, i.e. might contain text relocations.
> In that sense PIE and text relocations don't exclude each other.

> If you want both NX and ASLR security features for an executable it has
> to be built with '-pie' and must not contain text relocations.

this should not be true
the difference between text relocations and lack there off is that
without text relocations a binary is loaded and written into memory
with text relocations the binary is loaded the addresses for
relocations updated and writen into memory.
There is at a theoretical level no difference in required access rights
write to memory is neccessary at the load stage, no execute is needed
here and once done rights can be fliped over into execute without write
This may very well not work out that way in gnu linux but thats a
implementation problem then not a fundamental issue in NX+ASLR+TEXRELs
That is unless iam missing something

also a simple test:
gcc xtest.c -pie -m32 -o xtest
int main() {
    void *ref;
asm (
    "mov $main, %0"
printf("? %p\n", ref);
//can we read it ?
printf("R %d\n", *(int*)ref);
//can we write it ?
*(int*)ref = 123;

return 0;

Executing this shows that the write is prevented and segfaults, the
address is different on each run and we have a text relocation in it
thats on a ancient ubuntu without special security patches that i

Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is
to question oneself and others. -- Socrates
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