Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in cloud computing, virtualization, and networking, all with an open source view

Recent VMware Security Notice

I started to mention this in Virtualization Short Take #22, but I felt that burying mention of a security notice amongst a bunch of other links just wasn’t the right way to bring it to everyone’s attention. I don’t want to be accused of crying wolf, but I do want readers to be aware of this sort of issues when they arise.

Via Infosecurity.us and Tarry Singh, I saw that VMware had released a security notification regarding a potential flaw in both the hosted products (VMware Workstation, Server, ACE, and Player) as well as ESX and ESXi. At the root of the issue is a potential flaw in the way that these products handle the Trap flag, and this potential flaw might lead to privilege escalation within the guest operating system. Yes, you read that right—a flaw within the host could lead to privilege escalation in the guest.

The full VMware security advisory, VMSA-2008-0018 (incorrectly listed as VMSA-2009-0018), provides full details on the specific versions that are affected and provides links to applicable patches for vulnerable products. Interestingly enough, the latest versions of the hosted products—VMware Workstation 6.5, VMware Server 2.0, and VMware ACE 2.5–are not affected.

If you aren’t keeping your VMware ESX hosts patched using Update Manager, now might be a good time to start.

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