Solaris 8 Software Developer Supplement

Threats From Top-Down Requests

While protecting the system from defective hardware, the driver designer also needs to protect against driver misuse. Although the driver can assume that the kernel infrastructure is always correct (a trusted core), user requests passed to it can be potentially destructive.

For example, a user can request an action to be performed on a user-supplied data block (M_IOCTL) that is smaller than that indicated in the control part of the message. The driver should never trust a user application.

The design should consider the construction of each type of ioctl that it can receive with a view to the potential harm that it could cause. The driver should make checks to be sure that it does not process malformed ioctls.