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[PATCH] net: check against nb->tail in grub_netbuff_pull

From: Daniel Axtens
Subject: [PATCH] net: check against nb->tail in grub_netbuff_pull
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2022 00:39:04 +1100

GRUB netbuff structure members track 2 different things: the extent of memory
allocated for the packet, and the extent of memory currently being worked on.

This works out in the structure as follows:

 nb->head: beginning of the allocation
 nb->data: beginning of the working data
 nb->tail: end of the working data
 nb->end:  end of the allocation

The head and end pointers are set in grub_netbuff_alloc and do not change.
The data and tail pointers are initialised to point at start of the
allocation (that is, head == data == tail initially), and are then
manipulated by grub_netbuff_* functions. Key functions are as follows:

 - grub_netbuff_put: 'Put' more data into the packet - advance nb->tail.
 - grub_netbuff_unput: trim the tail of the packet - retract nb->tail
 - grub_netbuff_pull: 'consume' some packet data - advance nb->data
 - grub_netbuff_reserve: reserve space for future headers - advance nb->data and
 - grub_netbuff_push: 'un-consume' data to allow headers to be written -
                      retract nb->data.

Each of those functions does some form of error checking. For example,
grub_netbuff_put does not allow nb->tail to exceed nb->end, and
grub_netbuff_push does not allow nb->data to be before nb->head.

However, grub_netbuff_pull's error checking is a bit weird. It advances nb->data
and checks that it does not exceed nb->end. That allows you to get into the
situation where nb->data > nb->tail, which should not be.

Make grub_netbuff_pull check against both nb->tail and nb->end. In theory just
checking against ->tail should be sufficient but the extra check should be
cheap and seems like good defensive practice.

Signed-off-by: Daniel Axtens <>


I'm not aware of any particular bug this fixes. All it can do is prevent you
reading uninitialised but still allocated memory. It just seems like a good

The netboot test still passses on the pc platform, more testing would be good.
 grub-core/net/netbuff.c | 2 +-
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/grub-core/net/netbuff.c b/grub-core/net/netbuff.c
index dbeeefe4783c..72e5296356f0 100644
--- a/grub-core/net/netbuff.c
+++ b/grub-core/net/netbuff.c
@@ -54,7 +54,7 @@ grub_err_t
 grub_netbuff_pull (struct grub_net_buff *nb, grub_size_t len)
   nb->data += len;
-  if (nb->data > nb->end)
+  if (nb->data > nb->end || nb->data > nb->tail)
     return grub_error (GRUB_ERR_BUG,
                       "pull out of the packet range.");
   return GRUB_ERR_NONE;

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