GPGME and custom memory allocators

Ben Kibbey bjk at
Tue Oct 21 23:40:50 CEST 2014

On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 04:00:20PM -0400, Robert J. Hansen wrote:
> >> I'm hoping people can test the bjk/master branch of 
> >> git:// before being pulled into master. It
> >> adds custom memory allocators to gpgme much like libassuan and
> >> libgcrypt.
> > 
> > Why?
> There are lots of reasons to do this -- maybe you're on a Beowulf
> cluster and you want to make sure memory gets allocated on the same
> machine the process is running on, to minimize access time.  Maybe
> you've got memory with some really exotic security safeguard, like
> embedded in tamper-resistant epoxy to make various forensic techniques
> more difficult, and you want to make sure memory gets allocated there
> and not in an easier-to-attack DIMM.  Maybe...
> Writing custom memory allocators sounds really exotic, but it's a fairly
> common bit of systems-level programming.  GnuPG has its own custom
> allocator built into it, for instance, to provide some software-based
> security guarantees to the memory block.

It's also useful for memory allocation tracking and leak detection and
zero'ing before free().

Ben Kibbey

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