From: "Eric W. Biederman" <>
Date: Thu, 5 May 2022 13:26:40 -0500
Subject: [PATCH 07/12] ptrace: Reimplement PTRACE_KILL by always sending

The current implementation of PTRACE_KILL is buggy and has been for
many years as it assumes it's target has stopped in ptrace_stop.  At a
quick skim it looks like this assumption has existed since ptrace
support was added in linux v1.0.

While PTRACE_KILL has been deprecated we can not remove it as
a quick search with google code search reveals many existing
programs calling it.

When the ptracee is not stopped at ptrace_stop some fields would be
set that are ignored except in ptrace_stop.  Making the userspace
visible behavior of PTRACE_KILL a noop in those case.

As the usual rules are not obeyed it is not clear what the
consequences are of calling PTRACE_KILL on a running process.
Presumably userspace does not do this as it achieves nothing.

Replace the implementation of PTRACE_KILL with a simple
send_sig_info(SIGKILL) followed by a return 0.  This changes the
observable user space behavior only in that PTRACE_KILL on a process
not stopped in ptrace_stop will also kill it.  As that has always
been the intent of the code this seems like a reasonable change.

Reported-by: Al Viro <>
Suggested-by: Al Viro <>
Signed-off-by: "Eric W. Biederman" <>
Signed-off-by: Sebastian Andrzej Siewior <>
 arch/x86/kernel/step.c |    3 +--
 kernel/ptrace.c        |    5 ++---
 2 files changed, 3 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

--- a/arch/x86/kernel/step.c
+++ b/arch/x86/kernel/step.c
@@ -180,8 +180,7 @@ void set_task_blockstep(struct task_stru
 	 * NOTE: this means that set/clear TIF_BLOCKSTEP is only safe if
 	 * task is current or it can't be running, otherwise we can race
-	 * with __switch_to_xtra(). We rely on ptrace_freeze_traced() but
-	 * PTRACE_KILL is not safe.
+	 * with __switch_to_xtra(). We rely on ptrace_freeze_traced().
 	debugctl = get_debugctlmsr();
--- a/kernel/ptrace.c
+++ b/kernel/ptrace.c
@@ -1236,9 +1236,8 @@ int ptrace_request(struct task_struct *c
 		return ptrace_resume(child, request, data);
-		if (child->exit_state)	/* already dead */
-			return 0;
-		return ptrace_resume(child, request, SIGKILL);
+		send_sig_info(SIGKILL, SEND_SIG_NOINFO, child);
+		return 0;