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Re: Read-only data in ELF libraries may be remapped writable at runtime (upcoming NDSS'17 paper)

On 12/23/2016 07:32 PM, Mathias Payer wrote:

On December 23, 2016 7:18:29 PM GMT+01:00, Florian Weimer <> wrote:
On 12/23/2016 07:04 PM, Mathias Payer wrote:

At the linker level you likely don't know if the referenced symbol is
or not (as it could come from any object) -- only the runtime loader
this knowledge and at that time it is too late as PIE uses relative
addressing inside the object.

The static linker necessarily sees a definition, otherwise it cannot
produce a copy relocation because copy relocations must refer to
of known size.

Agreed. The static linker knows about the symbol and size but not the permission. That information is discarded after compilation.

That's not quite true. At least in the vtable case, the vtable is emitted in the section, and this information is definitely available to the static linker.

For your class A, the compiler emits the following vtable:

        .weak   _ZTV1A
        .align 8
        .type   _ZTV1A, @object
        .size   _ZTV1A, 24
        .quad   0
        .quad   _ZTI1A
        .quad   _ZN1A2a1Ev

And the static linker, when producing a DSO, puts that into the section. (Otherwise, using -fPIC wouldn't server as a workaround.)


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