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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   VMware Vendors:   VMware
VMware Shared Folder Bug Lets Local Users on the Guest OS Gain Elevated Privileges on the Host OS
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1019493
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2008-0923   (Links to External Site)
Updated:  Mar 18 2008
Original Entry Date:  Feb 25 2008
Impact:   Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): VMware Workstation 6.0.2 and prior and 5.5.4 and prior; VMware Player 2.0.2 and prior and 1.0.4 and prior; VMware ACE 2.0.2 and prior and 1.0.2 and prior.
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in VMware Workstation, VMware Player, and VMware ACE. A local user can obtain elevated privileges on the target system.

On Windows hosts that have a VMware Host to Guest shared folder, a local application on the guest operating system can gain full access to the host's file system. A local user can exploit this to gain system privileges on the host operating system.

VMware Workstation, VMware Player, and VMware ACE are affected.

VMware Server does not use shared folders and is not affected.

ESX Server is not affected.

Fusion and Linux-based hosted products are not affected.

Core Security Technologies reported this vulnerability.

Impact:   A local user on the guest operating system can obtain system privileges on the host operating system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued the following fixes.

VMware Workstation 6.0 upgrade to version 6.0.3 (Build# 80004)
VMware Workstation 5.5 upgrade to version 5.5.6 (Build# 80404)
VMware Player 2.0 upgrade to version 2.0.3 (Build# 80004)
VMware Player 1.0 upgrade to version 1.0.6 (Build# 80404)
VMware Server 1.0 upgrade to version 1.0.5 (Build# 80187)
VMware ACE 2.0 upgrade to version 2.0.1 (Build# 80004)
VMware ACE 1.0 upgrade to version 1.0.5 (Build# 79846)

The vendor's advisory is available at:

The original VMware advisory is available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error
Underlying OS:  Windows (Any)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [Security-announce] Critical Windows based VMware Workstation,

Hash: SHA256

- -------------------------------------------------------------------
~                   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
- -------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Summary:

~   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

~   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.

4. Solution:

~   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.

5. References:

~  CVE numbers

6. Contact:

E-mail list for product security notifications and announcements:

This Security Alert is posted to the following lists:

~  *
~  *
~  *


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.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (GNU/Linux)

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