Public Vulnerability Reports

VMware Multiple Products vmware-authd Untrusted Library Loading Vulnerability



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


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.


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.


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

 VMware Workstation for Linux VMware GSX Server for Linux VMware ESX Server 

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


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.


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


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 (, which standardizes names for security problems.


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


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2008 Verisign, Inc.

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