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Re: [nmap-svn] r31823 - nmap-exp/d33tah/ncat-lua-callbacks/ncat
From: David Fifield <david () bamsoftware com>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 15:32:13 -0700

On Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 12:10:48AM +0200, Jacek Wielemborek wrote:
First of all, I found the cause behind the segfault I experienced
during our last meeting. Accidentally, when trying to fix your ROT13
script, I added a redundant super:send before the return
rot13(super:send()) thing. This made the second call not get anything,
because we just flushed the buffer and we're not in a blocking mode.
This made it return EAGAIN, but because I did no error checking, I
tried to do something like memcmp(dst,src,-1).

Once I added the checks, I noticed that an extra ncat_recv_raw call
returning with EAGAIN makes us quit from the read_socket() loop and,
as an effect, close the socket. The reason is that so far we assumed
that socket returning on select() has some data to read, so we call
ncat_recv and if it yields nothing despite the select() signalling
data, the connection must have broken. It's not true anymore and
that's why I changed all ncat_recv calls to check errno for EAGAIN
before they consider a return value of 0 to be an error.

There were two issues left: I had to somehow pass the ncat_recv_raw's
value to differentiate between the disconnection and just EAGAIN and
solve the problem of user returning "", which makes Lua code set
buffer length to zero (rightly so), and zero return value from
ncat_recv meant a connection closed. In this case, I manually change
errno to EAGAIN, so that the ncat_recv callers can notice that.

I do not like this abuse of EAGAIN. It sounds as though you are trying
to handle too many layers at once.

You should try inverting your abstractions. If ncat_recv returns the
string result of possibly many layers of Lua filters, that indeed makes
it hard to test whether the socket is closed. So don't do that. When you
find that a socket is closed (through a zero-byte read), all you need to
do is report it to the next layer up, and only in that one place. The
Lua code in the next layer is now responsible for doing something
intelligent with the error. You should read about how sockets work in
When a socket read fails, you want to return (nil, err) to the caller.
You are almost certainly going to have to define a new function at the
top level that understands those Lua return values and transforms them
into something useful for the C caller. You probably will not be able to
use a zero-byte string as a close signal at this level.

In other words, you might want to have ncat_recv at the bottom of your
abstraction layers, not at the top.

If you are having trouble with when to call a C function and when to
call a Lua function, define a minimal Lua socket interface that just
passes its data through verbatim, and always make that Lua function the
thing you call from C. That way you can standardize your return

BTW, is this the kind of mail I should have CC'ed to dev () nmap org? If
so, please CC the answer there as well.

David Fifield
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