deadsimple BSD Security Advisories and Announcements

FreeBSD Security Advisory FreeBSD-SA-21:11.smap

FreeBSD-SA-21:11.smap                                       Security Advisory
                                                          The FreeBSD Project

Topic:          SMAP bypass

Category:       core
Module:         amd64
Announced:      2021-05-26
Credits:        I lost my dog if you see him please contact me at @m00nbsd.
Affects:        FreeBSD 12.2 and later.
Corrected:      2021-05-26 19:18:54 UTC (stable/13, 13.0-STABLE)
                2021-05-26 19:31:50 UTC (releng/13.0, 13.0-RELEASE-p1)
                2021-05-26 19:30:31 UTC (stable/12, 12.2-STABLE)
                2021-05-26 20:40:20 UTC (releng/12.2, 12.2-RELEASE-p7)
CVE Name:       CVE-2021-29628

For general information regarding FreeBSD Security Advisories,
including descriptions of the fields above, security branches, and the
following sections, please visit <URL:>.

I.   Background

Supervisor Mode Access Prevention (SMAP) is a security feature
implemented by contemporary Intel and AMD CPUs.  When enabled, it
ensures that accesses to user memory by the kernel trigger a page fault
and a subsequent kernel panic.  This helps mitigate the security
implications of kernel bugs that permit an attacker to read from or
write to user memory from the kernel.

The kernel may legitimately need to copy data between userspace and the
kernel.  To enable this, SMAP is temporarily disabled in the subroutines
which handle this copying, so only small, specially designated portions
of the kernel should be executed with SMAP disabled.

II.  Problem Description

The FreeBSD kernel enables SMAP during boot when the CPU reports that
the SMAP capability is present.  Subroutines such as copyin() and
copyout() are responsible for disabling SMAP around the sections of code
that perform user memory accesses.

Such subroutines must handle page faults triggered when user memory is
not mapped.  The kernel's page fault handler checks the validity of the
fault, and if it is indeed valid it will map a page and resume copying.
If the fault is invalid, the fault handler returns control to a
trampoline which aborts the operation and causes an error to be
returned.  In this second scenario, a bug in the implementation of SMAP
support meant that SMAP would remain disabled until the thread returns
to user mode.

III. Impact

This bug may be used to bypass the protections provided by SMAP for the
duration of a system call.  It could thus be combined with other kernel
bugs to craft an exploit.

IV.  Workaround

No workaround is available.  On hardware that does not implement SMAP,
the bug is inconsequential as the mitigation does not exist in the first

V.   Solution

Upgrade your vulnerable system to a supported FreeBSD stable or
release / security branch (releng) dated after the correction date
and reboot.

Perform one of the following:

1) To update your vulnerable system via a binary patch:

Systems running a RELEASE version of FreeBSD on the amd64, i386, or
(on FreeBSD 13 and later) arm64 platforms can be updated via the
freebsd-update(8) utility:

# freebsd-update fetch
# freebsd-update install
# shutdown -r +10min "Rebooting for a security update"

2) To update your vulnerable system via a source code patch:

The following patches have been verified to apply to the applicable
FreeBSD release branches.

a) Download the relevant patch from the location below, and verify the
detached PGP signature using your PGP utility.

# fetch
# fetch
# gpg --verify smap.patch.asc

b) Apply the patch.  Execute the following commands as root:

# cd /usr/src
# patch < /path/to/patch

c) Recompile your kernel as described in
<URL:> and reboot the

VI.  Correction details

This issue is corrected by the corresponding Git commit hash or Subversion
revision number in the following stable and release branches:

Branch/path                             Hash                     Revision
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
stable/13/                              876ffe28796c    stable/13-n245764
releng/13.0/                            f32130a1955e  releng/13.0-n244739
stable/12/                                                        r369857
releng/12.2/                                                      r369863
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------

For FreeBSD 13 and later:

Run the following command to see which files were modified by a
particular commit:

# git show --stat <commit hash>

Or visit the following URL, replacing NNNNNN with the hash:


To determine the commit count in a working tree (for comparison against
nNNNNNN in the table above), run:

# git rev-list --count --first-parent HEAD

For FreeBSD 12 and earlier:

Run the following command to see which files were modified by a particular
revision, replacing NNNNNN with the revision number:

# svn diff -cNNNNNN --summarize svn://

Or visit the following URL, replacing NNNNNN with the revision number:


VII. References


The latest revision of this advisory is available at