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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2008.0202 -- [Win]
Critical Windows based VMware Workstation, VMware Player,
and VMware ACE Alert
27 February 2008
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: VMware Workstation 6.0.2 and earlier
VMware Workstation 5.5.4,and earlier
VMware Player 2.0.2 and earlier
VMware Player 1.0.4 and earlier
VMware ACE 2.0.2 and earlier
VMware ACE 1.0.2 and earlier
Operating System: Windows
Impact: Inappropriate Access
Create Arbitrary Files
Modify Arbitrary Files
Access: Existing Account
CVE Names: CVE-2008-0923
Revision History: February 27 2008: Added CVE Number.
February 25 2008: Initial Release
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~ VMware Security Alert
Synopsis: Critical Windows based VMware Workstation,
~ VMware Player, and VMware ACE Alert
Issue date: 2008-02-22
Updated on: 2008-02-22
CVE numbers: similar to CVE-2007-1744
KB URL: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004034
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~ On Windows hosts, if you have configured a VMware Host to Guest
~ shared folder, it is possible for a program running in the guest
~ to gain access to the host's complete file system and create or
~ modify executable files in sensitive locations.
2. Relevant releases:
~ Windows hosted versions of:
~ VMware Workstation 6.0.2 and earlier,
~ VMware Workstation 5.5.4,and earlier,
~ VMware Player 2.0.2 and earlier,
~ VMware Player 1.0.4 and earlier,
~ VMware ACE 2.0.2 and earlier,
~ VMware ACE 1.0.2 and earlier,
NOTE: VMware Server is not affected because it doesn't use
~ shared folders.
~ No versions of ESX Server, including ESX Server 3i,
~ are affected by this vulnerability. Because ESX
~ Server is based on a bare-metal hypervisor architecture,
~ not a hosted architecture, and it doesn't include any
~ shared folder abilities.
~ Fusion and Linux based hosted products are unaffected.
3. Problem description: (from Core Security Technologies
~ advisory http://www.coresecurity.com/?action=item&id=2129)
~ To improve user inter-operation with virtualized systems
~ VMware's software implements a number of inter-system
~ communication features. The Shared Folder mechanism
~ is one of such feature.
~ VMware's shared folders allow users to transfer data between
~ a virtualized system (Guest) and the non-virtualized Host
~ system that contains it. This form of data transfer is
~ available to users of the Guest system through read and write
~ access to filesystem folders shared by both Guest and Host
~ systems. To maintain effective isolation between Guest and
~ Host systems, these mechanism should limit access from the
~ Guest only to the Host system's folders that are selected
~ for sharing with the virtualized guests.
~ A vulnerability was found in VMware's shared folders
~ mechanism that grants users of a Guest system read and
~ write access to any portion of the Host's file system
~ including the system folder and other security-sensitive
~ files. Exploitation of this vulnerability allows attackers
~ to break out of an isolated Guest system to compromise the
~ underlying Host system that controls it.
~ By default, the shared folders feature is disabled in
~ Workstation 6, Player 2, and ACE 2. In order to
~ exploit this vulnerability, the Virtual Machine must
~ have the shared folders feature manually enabled and
~ at least one folder configured for sharing between the
~ host and guest. Given the requirements of the
~ vulnerability it is not exploitable by default in
~ Workstation 6, Player 2, and ACE 2.
~ Workstation 5, Player 1, and ACE 1 enable the shared
~ folders feature by default, but exploiting this
~ vulnerability still requires at least one folder to
~ be configured as shared between the host and guest.
~ Given the requirements of the vulnerability it is not
~ exploitable by default in Workstation 5, Player 1, and
~ ACE 1.
~ The issue affects all currently supported Windows based
~ versions of VMware Workstation, ACE and Player . It
~ does not affect VMware ESX Server or VMware Desktop
~ Infrastructure products. We have had no reports of this
~ issue occurring in customer environments.
~ Users of Windows based products should implement
~ this workaround:
~ Disable shared folders until a patch can be created.
~ Global Setting:
~ This is done by going into the menu item 'Edit' and
~ then selecting 'Preferences'. In the Workspace tab,
~ under Virtual Machines uncheck the
~ 'Enable all shared folders by default'.
~ Individual Virtual Machine Settings:
~ This is done by going into the menu item 'VM' and
~ selecting settings. Choose the Options tab, and
~ then select shared folders, and select disable.
~ CVE numbers
E-mail list for product security notifications and announcements:
This Security Alert is posted to the following lists:
~ * email@example.com
~ * firstname.lastname@example.org
~ * email@example.com
VMware security web site
VMware security response policy
General support life cycle policy
VMware Infrastructure support life cycle policy
Copyright 2008 VMware Inc. All rights reserved.
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