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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   VMware ESXi Vendors:   VMware
VMware ESX Virtual Hardware Memory Access Bug Lets Local Users Gain Elevated Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1021301
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2008-4917   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Dec 3 2008
Impact:   Root access via local system
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): ESX 3.0.2, 3.0.3, 3.5; ESXi 3.5
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in VMware ESX. A local user can obtain elevated privileges on the target system.

A local user on a guest operating system can send a specially crafted request to the virtual hardware to cause the virtual hardware to write to physical memory on the target system.

Andrew Honig of the Department of Defense reported this vulnerability.

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

ESXi 3.5: ESXe350-200811401-O-SG

ESX 3.5: ESX350-200811401-SG
ESX 3.0.3: ESX303-200811401-BG
ESX 3.0.2: ESX-1006980

The vendor's advisory will be available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  [Security-announce] VMSA-2008-0019 VMware Hosted products and

Hash: SHA1

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   VMware Security Advisory

Advisory ID:       VMSA-2008-0019
Synopsis:          VMware Hosted products and patches for ESX and ESXi
                   resolve a critical security issue and update bzip2
Issue date:        2008-12-02
Updated on:        2008-12-02 (initial release of advisory)
CVE numbers:       CVE-2008-4917 CVE-2008-1372
- ------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Summary

   Updated VMware Hosted products and patches for ESX and ESXi resolve
   two security issues. The first is a critical memory corruption
   vulnerability in virtual device hardware. The second is an updated
   bzip2 package for the Service Console.

2. Relevant releases

   VMware Workstation 6.0.5 and earlier,
   VMware Workstation 5.5.8 and earlier,
   VMware Player 2.0.5 and earlier,
   VMware Player 1.0.8 and earlier,
   VMware Server 1.0.9 and earlier,

   VMware ESXi 3.5 without patch ESXe350-200811401-O-SG

   VMware ESX 3.5 without patches ESX350-200811406-SG and

   VMware ESX 3.0.3 without patches ESX303-200811404-SG and

   VMware ESX 3.0.2 without patches ESX-1006980 and ESX-1006982

   NOTE: Extended support for ESX 3.0.2 Update 1 ends on 2009-08-08.
         Users should plan to upgrade to ESX 3.0.3 and preferably to
         the newest release available.

3. Problem Description

 a. Critical Memory corruption vulnerability

    A memory corruption condition may occur in the virtual machine
    hardware. A malicious request sent from the guest operating
    system to the virtual hardware may cause the virtual hardware to
    write to uncontrolled physical memory.

    VMware would like to thank Andrew Honig of the Department of
    Defense for reporting this issue.

    The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (
    has assigned the name CVE-2008-4917 to this issue.

    The following table lists what action remediates the vulnerability
    (column 4) if a solution is available.

    VMware         Product   Running  Replace with/
    Product        Version   on       Apply Patch
    =============  ========  =======  =================
    VirtualCenter  any       Windows  not affected

    Workstation    6.5.x     any      not affected
    Workstation    6.0.x     any      6.5.0 build 118166 or later
    Workstation    5.x       any      5.5.9 build 126128 or later

    Player         2.5.x     any      not affected
    Player         2.0.x     any      2.5.0 build 118166 or later
    Player         1.x       any      1.0.9 build 126128 or later

    ACE            2.5.x     Windows  not affected
    ACE            2.0.x     Windows  2.5.0 build 118166 or later
    ACE            1.x       Windows  1.0.8 build 125922 or later

    Server         2.x       any      not affected
    Server         1.x       any      1.0.8 build 126538 or later

    Fusion         2.x       Mac OS/X not affected
    Fusion         1.x       Mac OS/X upgrade to Fusion 2.0 or later

    ESXi           3.5       ESXi     ESXe350-200811401-O-SG

    ESX            3.5       ESX      ESX350-200811401-SG
    ESX            3.0.3     ESX      ESX303-200811401-BG
    ESX            3.0.2     ESX      ESX-1006980
    ESX            2.5.5     ESX      not affected

 b. Updated Service Console package bzip2

    bzip2 versions before 1.0.5 can crash if certain flaws in compressed
    data lead to reading beyond the end of a buffer.  This might cause
    an application linked to the libbz2 library to crash when
    decompressing malformed archives.

    The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (
    has assigned the name CVE-2008-1372 to this issue.

    The following table lists what action remediates the vulnerability
    (column 4) if a solution is available.

    VMware         Product   Running  Replace with/
    Product        Version   on       Apply Patch
    =============  ========  =======  =================
    VirtualCenter  any       Windows  not affected

    hosted *       any       any      not affected

    ESXi           3.5       ESXi     not affected

    ESX            3.5       ESX      ESX350-200811406-SG
    ESX            3.0.3     ESX      ESX303-200811404-SG
    ESX            3.0.2     ESX      ESX-1006982
    ESX            2.5.5     ESX      affected, patch pending

    * hosted products are VMware Workstation, Player, ACE, Server, Fusion.

4. Solution

   Please review the patch/release notes for your product and version
   and verify the md5sum of your downloaded file.

   VMware Workstation 5.5.9
   Release notes:

   Windows binary:
   md5sum: 509c7b323a8ac42c0a92b0a1446bb0f8

   Compressed Tar archive for 32-bit Linux
   md5sum: 9d189e72f8111e44b27f1ee92edf265e

   Linux RPM version for 32-bit Linux
   md5sum: 0957c5258d033d0107517df64bfea240

   VMware Player 1.0.9
   Release notes Player 1.x:

   Windows binary
   md5sum: e2c8dd7b27df7d348f14f69de017b93f

   Player 1.0.9 for Linux (.rpm)
   md5sum: 471c3881fa60b058b1dac1d3c9c32c85

   Player 1.0.9 for Linux (.tar)
   md5sum: bef507811698e7333f5e8cb672530dbf

   VMware Server 1.0.8
   Release notes:

   VMware Server for Windows 32-bit and 64-bit
   md5sum: 4ba41e5fa192f786121a7395ebaa8d7c

   VMware Server Windows client package
   md5sum: f25746e275ca00f28d44ad372fc92536

   VMware Server for Linux
   md5sum: a476d3953ab1ff8457735e692fa5edf9

   VMware Server for Linux rpm
   md5sum: af6890506618fa82928fbfba8a5f97e1

   Management Interface
   md5sum: 5982b84a39479cabce63e12ab664d369

   VMware Server Linux client package
   md5sum: 605d7db48f63211cc3f5ddb2b3f915a6

   ESXi 3.5 patch ESXe350-200811401-O-SG
   md5sum: e895c8cb0d32b722d7820d0214416092

   NOTE: The three ESXi patches for Firmware "I", VMware Tools "T," and
         the VI Client "C" are contained in a single offline "O"
         download file.

   ESX 3.5 patch ESX350-200811401-SG (memory corruption)
   md5sum: 988042ce20ce2381216fbe1862c3e66d

   ESX 3.5 patch ESX350-200811406-SG (bzip2)
   md5sum: 285ec405ac34a196cbb796922e22cca2

   ESX 3.0.3 patch ESX303-200811401-BG (memory corruption)
   md5sum: 26bf687a3483951d1f14ab66edf1d196

   ESX 3.0.3 patch ESX303-200811404-SG (bzip2)
   md5sum: 2707e4a599867b0444e85a75a471ed4f

   ESX 3.0.2 patch ESX-1006980 (memory corruption)
   md5sum: 5e73f1585fea3ee770b2df2b94e73ca4

   ESX 3.0.2 patch ESX-1006982 (bzip2)
   md5sum: 4921cf542b5979bd0eef7f2c15683b71

5. References

   CVE numbers

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
6. Change log

2008-12-02  VMSA-2008-0019
Initial security advisory after release of patches for ESXi, ESX 3.5,
ESX 3.0.3, ESX 3.0.2. Updated hosted products were previously released
on 2008-11-06.

- -----------------------------------------------------------------------
7. Contact

E-mail list for product security notifications and announcements:

This Security Advisory is posted to the following lists:

  * security-announce at
  * bugtraq at
  * full-disclosure at

E-mail:  security at
PGP key at:

VMware Security Center

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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