Brad Spengler <spender@grsecurity>:
Due to Linux kernel developers continuing to silently fix exploitable bugs (in particular, trivially exploitable NULL ptr dereference bugs continue to be fixed without any mention of their security implications) we continue to suggest that the 2.6 kernels be avoided if possible.
As one of the easy ways of static audit of known misuses of C, known for ages security bugs, kernel (or any other call/return) interfaces to userspace, etc., i am proposing text processing.
Main concept is annotation (much like as sparse annotations for types/memory regions):
* call traces,
* and return values useage.
Checking if function/functionality (macro, module, etc.) is uses as annotated, seems like ordinary multiline `grep`, which is `sed`.
Also, annotations can help in porting big patches, gresecurity is. In general, i define annotation as another way of expression of rules, functionality, changes or whatever. While patching with classic `diff`&&`patch` is text based, it has nothing to do with semantic load of that text (what code changes, how it does it, what it adds, what it removes, relations, etc). Another text processing can check semantics:
* variable addition, its usage
* function parameters, its usage
* whole modules with multiple functions and data structures
* addition, usage, etc.
Yea, it's just a handwaving. But to check at least something, i need someone as a partner (i have social problem with very deep longliness). This is why i've started this publication here. Even better thing will be, if this group (if created) will be paid for at least research in/try+implement of this ideas.
There are problems in the Linux as in whole handcrafted programming. But as experimentation with LKML shows, there is a big mismatch of text processing skills (read first post here). Even in sed users list, which i finally have subscribed. Mature member didn't get question/task right. Now he seems to understood that and provided a solution, i've posted already ~5 hour ago (i's yahoo list, whicj is closed to non yahoo users). Thus, maybe no good GSoC mentor can handle proposition and whole that money thing for this research...