Public Vulnerability Reports

VMware Multiple Products vmware-authd Untrusted Library Loading Vulnerability

06.04.08

BACKGROUND

VMware Inc. markets several virtualization products which allow multiple virtual computers to run on a single system. For more information visit the following URL.

http://www.vmware.com/

DESCRIPTION

Local exploitation of an untrusted library path vulnerability in multiple products distributed by VMware Inc. could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with root privileges.

The Linux version of VMware products include a program called 'vmware-authd', which is installed set-uid root. When this program is executed, it reads configuration options from the executing user's VMware configuration file. One such option allows the user to specify the directory in which to look for shared library modules needed by the program. By loading a specially crafted library, an attacker can execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges.

ANALYSIS

Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary code with root privileges. In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must have access to execute the set-uid vmware-authd binary on an affected system. No additional credentials are needed.

DETECTION

iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in the following VMware products.

 VMware Workstation 6.0.2.59824 for Linux VMware GSX Server 3.2.1.14497 for Linux VMware ESX Server 3.0.1.32039 

All versions of all products which include a set-uid vmware-authd binary are suspected to be vulnerable.

WORKAROUND

To prevent exploitation of this vulnerability, modify the file permissions for the vmware-authd set-uid binary. Possible choices include removing the set-uid bit, or only allowing members of a trusted group to execute the binary.

VENDOR RESPONSE

VMware has addressed this vulnerability by release new versions of their products. For more information, consult their advisory at the following URL.

http://www.vmware.com/security/advisories/VMSA-2008-0009.html

CVE INFORMATION

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2008-0967 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org/), which standardizes names for security problems.

DISCLOSURE TIMELINE

01/30/2008 Initial vendor notification
01/30/2008 Initial vendor response
06/04/2008 Coordinated public disclosure

CREDIT

The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

Get paid for vulnerability research
http://labs.idefense.com/methodology/vulnerability/vcp.php

Free tools, research and upcoming events
http://labs.idefense.com/

LEGAL NOTICES

Copyright © 2008 Verisign, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express written consent of iDefense. If you wish to reprint the whole or any part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please e-mail customer service for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.