Home > C/C++, GNU/Linux, Operating Systems, Programming, Security > Syscall Hijacking: Dynamically obtain syscall table address (kernel 2.6.x) #2

Syscall Hijacking: Dynamically obtain syscall table address (kernel 2.6.x) #2

Hi. In this brief post I’ll show you another way to get the syscall table address dinamically.
This post is only an expansion of this one.
The idea is very trivial: we can find this address by a brute-force scan on the kernel reserved memory, in order to find the syscall table address. The kernel memory ranges from 0xc0000000 to 0xd0000000 (in 32-bit architecture).
We can compare the known locations with exported system calls, so finding the syscall table address. Even if the syscall table address is no longer exported, a few system calls (like sys_close) are still exported and available in the kernel modules.
I don’t like very much this method because scanning all the memory is computationally expensive. But, it works! :)
This is the “find()” function that takes care of the task:


#define START_MEM	0xc0000000
#define END_MEM		0xd0000000


unsigned long **find() {

	unsigned long **sctable;
	unsigned long int i = START_MEM;

	while ( i < END_MEM) {

		sctable = (unsigned long **)i;

		if ( sctable[__NR_close] == (unsigned long *) sys_close) {

			return &sctable[0];

		i += sizeof(void *);

	return NULL;

Simply it scans the memory from START_MEM to END_MEM: when the “__NR_close”-th address of “sctable” is equals to the “sys_close()” address, we are sure that “sctable” is pointing to the syscall table. So we have only to return this address and use it as usual.
Follows the LKM source code (“bruteforce.c”):

#include <linux/init.h>
#include <linux/module.h>
#include <linux/kernel.h>
#include <linux/errno.h>
#include <linux/types.h>
#include <linux/unistd.h>
#include <asm/current.h>
#include <linux/sched.h>
#include <linux/syscalls.h>
 #include <asm/system.h>


#define START_MEM	0xc0000000
#define END_MEM		0xd0000000

unsigned long *syscall_table; 

unsigned long **find() {

	unsigned long **sctable;
	unsigned long int i = START_MEM;

	while ( i < END_MEM) {

		sctable = (unsigned long **)i;

		if ( sctable[__NR_close] == (unsigned long *) sys_close) {

			return &sctable[0];

		i += sizeof(void *);

	return NULL;

static int init(void) {

	printk("\nModule starting...\n");

	syscall_table = (unsigned long *) find();

	if ( syscall_table != NULL ) {
		printk("Syscall table found at %x\n", (unsigned ) syscall_table);
	} else {
		printk("Syscall table not found!\n");

	return 0;

static void exit(void) {

    printk("Module ending\n");



Here is the Makefile:

obj-m	:= bruteforce.o

KDIR    := /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build
PWD    := $(shell pwd)

	$(MAKE) -C $(KDIR) SUBDIRS=$(PWD) modules

We can compile it:

spaccio@spaccio:~/Hijack/bruteforce$ make
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.35-22-generic/build SUBDIRS=/home/spaccio/Hijack/bruteforce modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.35-22-generic'
  CC [M]  /home/spaccio/Hijack/bruteforce/bruteforce.o
/home/spaccio/Hijack/bruteforce/bruteforce.c:19: warning: function declaration isn’t a prototype
  Building modules, stage 2.
  MODPOST 1 modules
  CC      /home/spaccio/Hijack/bruteforce/bruteforce.mod.o
  LD [M]  /home/spaccio/Hijack/bruteforce/bruteforce.ko
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.35-22-generic'

Finally we can run it:

spaccio@spaccio:~/Hijack/bruteforce$ sudo insmod bruteforce.ko

Now we check if the address found is correct or not:

spaccio@spaccio:~/Hijack/bruteforce$ dmesg | tail
[  725.653763] Module starting...
[  725.988959] Syscall table found at c05d2180
spaccio@spaccio:~/Hijack/bruteforce$ cat /boot/System.map-2.6.35-22-generic | grep sys_call_table
c05d2180 R sys_call_table

As expected, the syscall address is correct.
You can include the “find()” function in your LKM, so finding dinamically the syscall table address.

  1. Ololo
    March 18, 2011 at 19:10

    Very interesting, thanks, but would be desirable to learn your sight at technology of passing the parameters to the LKM, and not through insmod, but from config file, dynamic update of the list of hidden files, for example

    Thanks a lot for your articles, very helpful

  2. Aloras
    July 12, 2011 at 15:52

    great post .

    now I want to use the adress to hook in a call

    I copied your code and wrote 2 extra Functions

    asmlinkage int (*original_call) (const char *, int, int);
    asmlinkage int our_sys_open(const char *filename, int flags, int mode)
    printk(“Opened file HOOKED”);
    return original_call(filename, flags, mode);

    and in case of a match i do the folowing

    original_call = syscall_table[__NR_open]; // save the old addresse
    syscall_table[__NR_open] = our_sys_open; // redirect to our address

    now insmod get killed when I insert the Modul and i dont know why

    • August 18, 2011 at 23:24

      You have to read the other posts on syscall hijacking in order to do it.

  3. Bhaumik
    August 18, 2011 at 07:24

    Great example..!! thanks.
    This example works perfect on my 32 bit Ubuntu. But now I would like to try it on 64 bit Ubuntu. do I have to change the range for memory scan and what will be that?
    Becz with the given range , the module is getting killed on 64 bit OS.

    • August 18, 2011 at 23:38

      I don’t know which is the high memory range on 64 bit OS.
      But you can try to find the starting address in a tricky way: you have to ‘cat’ the /boot/System.map file and search for the starting memory address.
      # cat /boot/System.map-2.6.38-8-generic

      c1000000 T _text

      You can try also to search for the 64 bit kernel space range on google :-).
      Let me know.

  4. August 18, 2011 at 12:28

    Good tutorial. I want to use this on 64 bit file open system call hijacking. Please give the suggestion

  5. nobody
    November 25, 2011 at 09:32

    decades behind

    • Fefa
      February 22, 2012 at 22:02

      Maybe, but more useful, this post, than your empty and useless comment.
      If you want to help, if you want to teach, just write something. ;)

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  1. May 28, 2018 at 23:56
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