Commit eaf06b24 authored by Dan Rosenberg's avatar Dan Rosenberg Committed by Linus Torvalds

Restrict unprivileged access to kernel syslog

The kernel syslog contains debugging information that is often useful
during exploitation of other vulnerabilities, such as kernel heap
addresses.  Rather than futilely attempt to sanitize hundreds (or
thousands) of printk statements and simultaneously cripple useful
debugging functionality, it is far simpler to create an option that
prevents unprivileged users from reading the syslog.

This patch, loosely based on grsecurity's GRKERNSEC_DMESG, creates the
dmesg_restrict sysctl.  When set to "0", the default, no restrictions are
enforced.  When set to "1", only users with CAP_SYS_ADMIN can read the
kernel syslog via dmesg(8) or other mechanisms.

[ explain the config option in kernel.txt]
Signed-off-by: default avatarDan Rosenberg <>
Acked-by: default avatarIngo Molnar <>
Acked-by: default avatarEugene Teo <>
Acked-by: default avatarKees Cook <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarAndrew Morton <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarLinus Torvalds <>
parent 203f40a5
......@@ -28,6 +28,7 @@ show up in /proc/sys/kernel:
- core_uses_pid
- ctrl-alt-del
- dentry-state
- dmesg_restrict
- domainname
- hostname
- hotplug
......@@ -213,6 +214,19 @@ to decide what to do with it.
This toggle indicates whether unprivileged users are prevented from using
dmesg(8) to view messages from the kernel's log buffer. When
dmesg_restrict is set to (0) there are no restrictions. When
dmesg_restrict is set set to (1), users must have CAP_SYS_ADMIN to use
The kernel config option CONFIG_SECURITY_DMESG_RESTRICT sets the default
value of dmesg_restrict.
domainname & hostname:
These files can be used to set the NIS/YP domainname and the
......@@ -293,6 +293,7 @@ extern bool printk_timed_ratelimit(unsigned long *caller_jiffies,
unsigned int interval_msec);
extern int printk_delay_msec;
extern int dmesg_restrict;
* Print a one-time message (analogous to WARN_ONCE() et al):
......@@ -261,6 +261,12 @@ static inline void boot_delay_msec(void)
int dmesg_restrict = 1;
int dmesg_restrict;
int do_syslog(int type, char __user *buf, int len, bool from_file)
unsigned i, j, limit, count;
......@@ -703,6 +703,15 @@ static struct ctl_table kern_table[] = {
.extra2 = &ten_thousand,
.procname = "dmesg_restrict",
.data = &dmesg_restrict,
.maxlen = sizeof(int),
.mode = 0644,
.proc_handler = proc_dointvec_minmax,
.extra1 = &zero,
.extra2 = &one,
.procname = "ngroups_max",
.data = &ngroups_max,
......@@ -39,6 +39,18 @@ config KEYS_DEBUG_PROC_KEYS
If you are unsure as to whether this is required, answer N.
bool "Restrict unprivileged access to the kernel syslog"
default n
This enforces restrictions on unprivileged users reading the kernel
syslog via dmesg(8).
If this option is not selected, no restrictions will be enforced
unless the dmesg_restrict sysctl is explicitly set to (1).
If you are unsure how to answer this question, answer N.
bool "Enable different security models"
depends on SYSFS
......@@ -895,6 +895,8 @@ int cap_syslog(int type, bool from_file)
if (type != SYSLOG_ACTION_OPEN && from_file)
return 0;
if (dmesg_restrict && !capable(CAP_SYS_ADMIN))
return -EPERM;
if ((type != SYSLOG_ACTION_READ_ALL &&
return -EPERM;
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