I'm assuming it is possible for an attacker to bypass the Linux kernel to make changes to system memory, hard drives etc.

  • 2
    Can you clarify what you're asking exactly? Do you mean bypass security checks built into the kernel? Jan 1, 2015 at 8:27
  • From my place of ignorance, I'm having trouble expressing what I'm asking exactly. I'm trying to understand the narrowest "choke point" for data access on a Linux system.
    – Keith
    Jan 1, 2015 at 22:44
  • This question might be better worded: is all access to the underlying system components protected via an access control mechanism managed by the kernel?
    – Steve
    Jan 2, 2015 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


Both main memory and disk drives are managed solely by the kernel.

  • For a user space program to access these it needs the kernel's cooperation through the invocation of system calls.

  • A kernel module can access them without further approval, because it's already part of the kernel. Of course to become a kernel module kernel cooperation is again required.


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