seccomp: Make NEW_LISTENER and TSYNC flags exclusive [Linux 5.1]

seccomp: Make NEW_LISTENER and TSYNC flags exclusive [Linux 5.1]

This Linux kernel change "seccomp: Make NEW_LISTENER and TSYNC flags exclusive" is included in the Linux 5.1 release. This change is authored by Tycho Andersen <tycho [at]> on Wed Mar 6 13:14:13 2019 -0700. The commit for this change in Linux stable tree is 7a0df7f (patch).

seccomp: Make NEW_LISTENER and TSYNC flags exclusive

As the comment notes, the return codes for TSYNC and NEW_LISTENER
conflict, because they both return positive values, one in the case of
success and one in the case of error. So, let's disallow both of these
flags together.

While this is technically a userspace break, all the users I know
of are still waiting on me to land this feature in libseccomp, so I
think it'll be safe. Also, at present my use case doesn't require
TSYNC at all, so this isn't a big deal to disallow. If someone
wanted to support this, a path forward would be to add a new flag like
but the use cases are so different I don't see it really happening.

Finally, it's worth noting that this does actually fix a UAF issue: at the
end of seccomp_set_mode_filter(), we have:

                if (ret < 0) {
                        listener_f->private_data = NULL;
                } else {
                        fd_install(listener, listener_f);
                        ret = listener;

But if ret > 0 because TSYNC raced, we'll install the listener fd and then
free the filter out from underneath it, causing a UAF when the task closes
it or dies. This patch also switches the condition to be simply if (ret),
so that if someone does add the flag mentioned above, they won't have to
remember to fix this too.

Fixes: 6a21cc50f0c7 ("seccomp: add a return code to trap to userspace")
CC: # v5.0+
Signed-off-by: Tycho Andersen <>
Signed-off-by: Kees Cook <>
Acked-by: James Morris <>

There are 17 lines of Linux source code added/deleted in this change. Code changes to Linux kernel are as follows.

 kernel/seccomp.c | 17 +++++++++++++++--
 1 file changed, 15 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/kernel/seccomp.c b/kernel/seccomp.c
index 54a0347..4b51d9c 100644
--- a/kernel/seccomp.c
+++ b/kernel/seccomp.c
@@ -502,7 +502,10 @@ static struct seccomp_filter *seccomp_prepare_filter(struct sock_fprog *fprog)
  * Caller must be holding current->sighand->siglock lock.
- * Returns 0 on success, -ve on error.
+ * Returns 0 on success, -ve on error, or
+ *   - in TSYNC mode: the pid of a thread which was either not in the correct
+ *     seccomp mode or did not have an ancestral seccomp filter
+ *   - in NEW_LISTENER mode: the fd of the new listener
 static long seccomp_attach_filter(unsigned int flags,
                  struct seccomp_filter *filter)
@@ -1258,6 +1261,16 @@ static long seccomp_set_mode_filter(unsigned int flags,
    if (flags & ~SECCOMP_FILTER_FLAG_MASK)
        return -EINVAL;

+   /*
+    * In the successful case, NEW_LISTENER returns the new listener fd.
+    * But in the failure case, TSYNC returns the thread that died. If you
+    * combine these two flags, there's no way to tell whether something
+    * succeeded or failed. So, let's disallow this combination.
+    */
+   if ((flags & SECCOMP_FILTER_FLAG_TSYNC) &&
+       return -EINVAL;
    /* Prepare the new filter before holding any locks. */
    prepared = seccomp_prepare_user_filter(filter);
    if (IS_ERR(prepared))
@@ -1304,7 +1317,7 @@ static long seccomp_set_mode_filter(unsigned int flags,
-       if (ret < 0) {
+       if (ret) {
            listener_f->private_data = NULL;

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