x86-64 MTTCG Does not update page table entries atomically

Bug #1911351 reported by Marco
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
QEMU
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

It seems like the qemu tcg code for x86-64 doesn't write the access and dirty bits of the page table entries atomically. Instead, they first read the entry, see if they need to set the page table entry, and then write back the updated page table entry. So if you have two threads running at the same time, one accessing the virtual address over and over again, and the other modifying the page table entry, it is possible that after the second thread modifies the page table entry, qemu overwrites the value with the old page table entry value, with the access/dirty flags set.

Here's a unit test that reproduces this behavior:

https://github.com/mvanotti/kvm-unit-tests/commit/09f9722807271226a714b04f25174776454b19cd

You can run it with:

```
/usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64 --no-reboot -nodefaults \
-device pc-testdev -device isa-debug-exit,iobase=0xf4,iosize=0x4 \
-vnc none -serial stdio -device pci-testdev \
-smp 4 -machine q35 --accel tcg,thread=multi \
-kernel x86/mmu-race.flat # -initrd /tmp/tmp.avvPpezMFf
```

Expected output (failure):

```
kvm-unit-tests$ make && /usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64 --no-reboot -nodefaults -device pc-testdev -device isa-debug-exit,iobase=0xf4,iosize=0x4 -vnc none -serial stdio -device pci-testdev -smp 4 -machine q35 --accel tcg,thread=multi -kernel x86/mmu-race.flat # -initrd /tmp/tmp.avvPpezMFf
enabling apic
enabling apic
enabling apic
enabling apic
paging enabled
cr0 = 80010011
cr3 = 627000
cr4 = 20
found 4 cpus
PASS: Need more than 1 CPU
Detected overwritten PTE:
        want: 0x000000000062e007
        got: 0x000000000062d027
FAIL: PTE not overwritten
PASS: All Reads were zero
SUMMARY: 3 tests, 1 unexpected failures
```

This bug allows user-to-root privilege escalation inside the guest VM: if the user is able overwrite an entry that belongs to a second-to-last level page table, and is able to allocate the referenced page, then the user would be in control of a last-level page table, being able to map any memory they want. This is not uncommon in situations where memory is being decomitted.

Revision history for this message
Peter Maydell (pmaydell) wrote :

Yeah, it's a long standing API deficiency inside QEMU that we don't have a way to do atomic modifications in things like page-table-walk code: mostly you don't notice unless you go looking for it, but we really ought to fix this. Thanks for the unit test.

Changed in qemu:
status: New → Confirmed
Marco (charco)
description: updated
tags: added: i386 tcg
Revision history for this message
Peter Maydell (pmaydell) wrote :

Not strictly i386 specific -- any arch that wants to do read-modify-update to its page tables runs into this. There are some not-yet-implemented Arm architecture extensions that require this, and likely other archs too.

Revision history for this message
Marco (charco) wrote :

We only tested it on x86-64 and aarch64, but we couldn't repro on arm. It is possible that this affects other platforms as well, but note that this is specifically mentioned in the qemu wiki as one of the cases that should be covered when porting mttcg to a new platform: https://wiki.qemu.org/Features/tcg-multithread

Revision history for this message
Venkatesh Srinivas (venkatesh-srinivas) wrote :

BTW, the RISC-V MMU code _does_ get this right and the model could be followed by the x86 version - - something like https://github.com/vsrinivas/qemu/commit/1efa7dc689c4572d8fe0880ddbe44ec22f8f4348, (but with more compiling + working) might solve this problem and more closely model h/w.

Revision history for this message
Peter Maydell (pmaydell) wrote : Re: [Bug 1911351] Re: x86-64 MTTCG Does not update page table entries atomically

On Tue, 2 Feb 2021 at 05:07, Venkatesh Srinivas
<email address hidden> wrote:
> BTW, the RISC-V MMU code _does_ get this right and the model could be
> followed by the x86 version - - something like
> https://github.com/vsrinivas/qemu/commit/1efa7dc689c4572d8fe0880ddbe44ec22f8f4348,
> (but with more compiling + working) might solve this problem and more
> closely model h/w

target/i386 is the wrong place to put the fix, though:
the abstraction layers for working with AddressSpaces need to
provide atomic operations and then under the hood do the right
thing to implement them. target-specific code shouldn't need
to manually do the translation, fish out a MemoryRegion,
check whether it's really host RAM, and so on.

thanks
-- PMM

Revision history for this message
Thomas Huth (th-huth) wrote :

The QEMU project is currently moving its bug tracking to another system.
For this we need to know which bugs are still valid and which could be
closed already. Thus we are setting the bug state to "Incomplete" now.

If the bug has already been fixed in the latest upstream version of QEMU,
then please close this ticket as "Fix released".

If it is not fixed yet and you think that this bug report here is still
valid, then you have two options:

1) If you already have an account on gitlab.com, please open a new ticket
for this problem in our new tracker here:

    https://gitlab.com/qemu-project/qemu/-/issues

and then close this ticket here on Launchpad (or let it expire auto-
matically after 60 days). Please mention the URL of this bug ticket on
Launchpad in the new ticket on GitLab.

2) If you don't have an account on gitlab.com and don't intend to get
one, but still would like to keep this ticket opened, then please switch
the state back to "New" or "Confirmed" within the next 60 days (other-
wise it will get closed as "Expired"). We will then eventually migrate
the ticket automatically to the new system (but you won't be the reporter
of the bug in the new system and thus you won't get notified on changes
anymore).

Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience.

Changed in qemu:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Marco (charco) wrote :

This issue has been migrated to gitlab issue #279. See https://gitlab.com/qemu-project/qemu/-/issues/279

Revision history for this message
Marco (charco) wrote :

Closing issue as it has been migrated to https://gitlab.com/qemu-project/qemu/-/issues/279

Changed in qemu:
status: Incomplete → Invalid
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