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[Article] The Internal of Reloc .text
From: x90c <geinblues () gmail com>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2013 02:08:35 +0900

  The Internal of Reloc .text

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        ----[ 1. Intro

        ----[ 2. The Relocation Start

        --------[ 2.1 Call path of the _dl_relocate_object()

        --------[ 2.2 The Process of .text reloc

        ------------[ 2.2.1 The start of the _dl_relocate_object()

        ------------[ 2.2.2 The .text section relocation start

        ------------[ 2.2.3 The real reloc start

        ------------[ 2.2.4 After complete reloc

        ----[ 3. Underground Hacker Scene of south korea In 2013

        ----[ 4. Conclusion

        ----[ 5. References

        ----[ 6. Greets

----[ 1. Intro

The article explains the process of .text section's
relocation after passing the link_map object. The
_dl_relocate_object() In elf/dl-reloc.c, Internal
function did it.

The link_map object is used for teh relocation
of the rtld. It's related with dynamic linking
of the shared objects. dynamic linked objects's
Informations on link_map objects.

----[ 2. The Relocation Start

----[ 2.1 Call path of the _dl_relocate_object()

First of all, see the _dl_relocate_object's
call path and calling codes. The main function
of rtld, dl_main() called relocate_doit() and
the function will called elf/dl-reloc.c::_dl
_relocate_object() that external function of

As you can see In The mayhem's article[1] the
call path to enter rtld main function of
dl_main related with the linux kernel.
The linux kernel called rtld.

First, See the codes.

The codes In elf/rtld.c:


static void relocate_doit (void *a)
  struct relocate_args *args = (struct relocate_args *) a;

  // (2) do relocation! (third argument passed lazy bind option)
  _dl_relocate_object (args->l, args->l->l_scope, args->lazy, 0);


static void
dl_main (const ElfW(Phdr) *phdr,        // rtld's main function.
         ElfW(Word) phnum,
         ElfW(Addr) *user_entry)


  // (1) relocate_doit() called!
  _dl_receive_error (print_unresolved, relocate_doit, &args);




Before mentioned, fs/binfmt_elf.c::load_elf_binary()
binary handler function In the linux kernel tree
called _dl_start() entry point In elf/rtld.c. In
other words the linux kernel called _dl_start
on from the kernelland to enter the rtld on the

The next, See the call path of to _dl_relocate_object().

The _dl_relocate_object()'s call path:

+linux kernel/fs/binfmt_elf.c::load_elf_binary() // from linux kernel.

 +-> sysdeps/i386/dl-machine.h::RTLD_START(%esp)

  -> elf/rtld.c::_dl_start(void *arg) <- to Entry Point.(not RTLD_START)

   -> elf/rtld.c::_dl_start_final(void *arg)

    -> elf/dl-sysdep.c::_dl_sysdep_start(arg, &dl_main)

     -> elf/rtld.c::dl_main(phdr, phnum, &user_entry)
      +-> elf/rtld.c::relocate_doit(void *a)

         -> elf/dl-reloc.c::_dl_relocate_object() // <- do relocation!


----[ 2.2 The Process of .text reloc

I explains the process of relocation of .text section
with the text relocs, .text_rel section. .text section
is the same with the code segment in The ELF. _start
main functions on it.

The Relocation needed for the shared objects as like
the shared libraries that Dynamic Linking.

----[ 2.2.1 The start of the _dl_relocate_object()

  (1) Profiling enabled?
     consider_profiling |= GLRO(dl_audit) != NULL;      

     GLRO(dl_audit) flag added consider_profiling
     variable. The dl_audit variable for profiling

  (2) Already relocated object?
    if (l->l_relocated)

    l->l_relocated(already relocated?) is 1
    return with no return value.

  (3) Disable lazy binding?
      lazy binding control with $LD_BIND_NOW environment.
    if (!consider_profiling &&
    __builtin_expect (l->l_info[DT_BIND_NOW] != NULL, 0))
    lazy = 0; // to use runtime bind.

    consider_profiling == 0(no profiling), If $LD_BIND_NOW
    environment value exists caused l->l_info[DT_BIND_NOW]
    exists. Set lazy variable as 0 to disable "Lazy Binding".

----[ 2.2.2 The .text section relocation start

If .text_rel relocation section loaded on the
rtld from an ELF object, the dynamic linker
entered the process of relocation of .text
section. and If no .text_rel sets l->l_relocated
as 1 that means the object relocated. In other
words, no .text section In ELF object can be
run on the rtld.

First, Prepared process get a new textrels struct
and the next will be started real reloc process.

Get a new textrels struct:

  (4) .text section no PF_W? Malloc'd textrels struct!
    if (__builtin_expect (l->l_info[DT_TEXTREL] != NULL, 0))
      const ElfW(Phdr) *ph;

         scan ph = l->l_phdr(link_map's program header)
      for (ph = l->l_phdr; ph < &l->l_phdr[l->l_phnum]; ++ph)
     if (ph->p_type == PT_LOAD && (ph->p_flags & PF_W) == 0)
        struct textrels *newp; // struct textrels.

        // malloc'd.
        newp = (struct textrels *) alloca (sizeof (*newp));

    - l->l_info[DT_TEXTREL] exists.
    - lookup .text section via scanning program
      header table, the ph->p_type==PT_LOAD.
      It's the .text segment's type and validation
      checking of no PF_W on the .text section.
      * code segment shouldn't have write flag.
    - If above validation check is success, malloc'd
      to textrels struct and store Informations of
      .text section.

  (5) Change the protection on .text section segment to
    PROT_READ&PROT_WRITE for reloation.
    if (__mprotect (newp->start, newp->len, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE) < 0)

  (6) Set ph->p_flags to textrel struct's ->prot member variable.

In summary the prepared process of .text
reloc, after 1) .text PF_W validation checking
and malloc'd `struct textrel', 2) change the
.text section's protection to PROT_READ&PROT
_WRITE and finally, 3) fill the value of
ph->pflags from the ELF object to the malloc
'd textrel's ->prot member variable.

----[ 2.2.3 The real reloc start

See the.text section's Real Relocation start.

   (7) Get .strtab section's relative addr.
   strtab = D_PTR(l, l_info[DT_STRTAB]);

   (8) Doing Actual Reloation
   - called elf/dynamic-link.h!ELF_DYNAMIC_RELOCATE() macro.

   The call path of the Actual Relocation macro as follows:

       +-> sysdeps/generic/dl-machine.h!elf_machine_runtime_setup()
       +-> dynamic-link.h!ELF_DYNAMIC_DO_REL()
       +-> dynamic-link.h!ELF_DYNAMIC_DO_RELA()


   In Actual Relocation time, PLT and GOT used.
   I doesn't explain the actual relocation because
   the subject.

   (9) No PROF macro and profiling enabled?
       rtld compiled with no profiling
       and not defined PROF macro and
       consider_profiling == 1(enable profiling)
       - malloc'd l->reloc_result and process.

  !!!!! The End of .text Relocation !!!!!

  (10) Set l->l_relocated as 1.
  // the flag for relocation completed.
  l->l_relocated = 1;
  - If no .text section on the ELF object
    the ->l_relocated flag will be set.
    * the l object is the link_map object.

  (11) Restore .text section's original PROT.
       - While actual relocation PROT_READ|
         PROT_WRITE needed and after reloca
         tion, PROT_READ|PROT_EXEC.

In summary the process of Real Relocation start
1) get the address of .strtab section and 2) doing
actual relocation of .text section by calling
dynamic-link.h!ELF_DYNAMIC_RELOCATE() macro and
after complete the reloc, 3) set 1 to l->l_relocated
for the flag. and finally Restore .text section's
original PROTs.

----[ 2.2.4 After complete reloc

  (12) Set PROT_READ prot to .rel_ro.
       If l->l_relro_size exists called _dl_
       protect_relro(l) to change .rel.ro
       section'S PROT to PROT_READ using
       * .rel_ro is read-only section gots
         reloc entries.

----[ 3. Underground Hacker Scene of south korea In 2013

In the region south korea, korean hacker community
'korean underground' kidz Is there. The korean
underground opened three global hacker conferences.
x90c is THE L33T In 2004~2013 who not In the korean
underground. Except The l33t, all hackers In south
-korea was/are In the korean underground.
Check it out http://www.x90c.org/profile.txt.

----[ 4. Conclusion

In the article, I explained the process of relocation
.text section doing by _dl_relocate_object().

The Identified Security features are profiling
enabling and lazy bind control. It's less relation
with the security.

An ELF object with no .text section also linked
dynamically by rtld. It's wierd. and no code
segment section doesn't run properly.

----[ 5. References

[1] mayhem, 2001, Understanding Linux ELF RTLD internals
  - http://s.eresi-project.org/inc/articles/elf-rtld.txt

----[ 6. Greets
Greets to
#phrack of efnet
#social of overthewire


Attachment: internal_reloc_text.txt

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