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ALSA: control: Fix replacing user controls

There are two issues with the current implementation for replacing user
controls. The first is that the code does not check if the control is actually a
user control and neither does it check if the control is owned by the process
that tries to remove it. That allows userspace applications to remove arbitrary
controls, which can cause a user after free if a for example a driver does not
expect a control to be removed from under its feed.

The second issue is that on one hand when a control is replaced the
user_ctl_count limit is not checked and on the other hand the user_ctl_count is
increased (even though the number of user controls does not change). This allows
userspace, once the user_ctl_count limit as been reached, to repeatedly replace
a control until user_ctl_count overflows. Once that happens new controls can be
added effectively bypassing the user_ctl_count limit.

Both issues can be fixed by instead of open-coding the removal of the control
that is to be replaced to use snd_ctl_remove_user_ctl(). This function does
proper permission checks as well as decrements user_ctl_count after the control
has been removed.

Note that by using snd_ctl_remove_user_ctl() the check which returns -EBUSY at
beginning of the function if the control already exists is removed. This is not
a problem though since the check is quite useless, because the lock that is
protecting the control list is released between the check and before adding the
new control to the list, which means that it is possible that a different
control with the same settings is added to the list after the check. Luckily
there is another check that is done while holding the lock in snd_ctl_add(), so
we'll rely on that to make sure that the same control is not added twice.

Signed-off-by: Lars-Peter Clausen <>
Acked-by: Jaroslav Kysela <>
Cc: <>
Signed-off-by: Takashi Iwai <>
Lars-Peter Clausen 6 years ago
committed by Takashi Iwai
1 changed files with 9 additions and 16 deletions
  1. +9

+ 9
- 16
sound/core/control.c View File

@ -1154,8 +1154,6 @@ static int snd_ctl_elem_add(struct snd_ctl_file *file,
struct user_element *ue;
int idx, err;
if (!replace && card->user_ctl_count >= MAX_USER_CONTROLS)
return -ENOMEM;
if (info->count < 1)
return -EINVAL;
access = info->access == 0 ? SNDRV_CTL_ELEM_ACCESS_READWRITE :
@ -1164,21 +1162,16 @@ static int snd_ctl_elem_add(struct snd_ctl_file *file,
info->id.numid = 0;
memset(&kctl, 0, sizeof(kctl));
_kctl = snd_ctl_find_id(card, &info->id);
err = 0;
if (_kctl) {
if (replace)
err = snd_ctl_remove(card, _kctl);
err = -EBUSY;
} else {
if (replace)
err = -ENOENT;
if (replace) {
err = snd_ctl_remove_user_ctl(file, &info->id);
if (err)
return err;
if (err < 0)
return err;
if (card->user_ctl_count >= MAX_USER_CONTROLS)
return -ENOMEM;
memcpy(&, &info->id, sizeof(info->id));
kctl.count = info->owner ? info->owner : 1;