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Updated ESXi and ESX 3.5 packages address critical security issue in openwsman

VMware Security Advisory
Advisory ID: VMSA-2008-0015
Synopsis: Updated ESXi and ESX 3.5 packages address critical security issue in openwsman
Issue date: 2008-09-18
Updated on: 2008-09-18 (initial release of advisory)
CVE numbers: CVE-2008-2234
1. Summary

Updated ESXi and ESX 3.5 packages address critical security issue in openwsman
2. Relevant releases

VMware ESXi 3.5 Update 2 without patch ESXe350-200808501-I-SG

VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 without patch ESX350-200808413-SG
3. Problem Description
a. Updated Openwsman

Openwsman is a system management platform that implements the Web
Services Management protocol (WS-Management). It is installed and
running by default. It is used in the VMware Management Service
Console and in ESXi.

The openwsman 2.0.0 management service on ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 is
vulnerable to the following issue found by the SuSE Security-Team:

- Two remote buffer overflows while decoding the HTTP basic
authentication header

This vulnerability could potentially be exploited by users without
valid login credentials.

Openwsman before 2.0.0 is not vulnerable to this issue. The ESXi
3.5 patch ESXe350-200808201-O-UG updated openwsman to version 2.0.0.
The ESX 3.5 patch ESX350-200808205-UG updated openwsman to version
2.0.0. These patches are installed as part of the ESX and ESXi
Upgrade 2 release. The ESX patch can be installed individually.

Version Information and Workaround
The following VMware KB articles provide information on how to
obtain the version of openwsman in your environment and what a
possible workaround for the issue might be.
ESXi 3.5
Refer to the VMware KB article at
ESX 3.5
Refer to the VMware KB article at

Note: This vulnerability can be exploited remotely only if the
attacker has access to the service console network.
Security best practices provided by VMware recommend that the
service console be isolated from the VM network. Please see for more
information on VMware security best practices.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures Project (
has assigned the name CVE-2008-2234 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 ESXe350-200808501-I-SG
ESXi 3.5 *** ESXi not affected
ESX 3.5 ** ESX ESX350-200808413-SG
ESX 3.5 *** ESX not affected
ESX 3.0.3 ESX not affected
ESX 3.0.2 ESX not affected
ESX 3.0.1 ESX not affected
ESX 2.5.5 ESX not affected
ESX 2.5.4 ESX not affected

* hosted products are VMware Workstation, Player, ACE, Server, Fusion.
** ESX and ESXi running openwsman 2.0.0
*** ESX and ESXi running version of openwsman before 2.0.0

Note: When the SuSE Security-Team reported this openwsman security
issue, it also reported the openwsman issue described in
CVE-2008-2233. No VMware product is affected by the security
vulnerability described in CVE-2008-2233.
4. Solution

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


ESXi 3.5 patch ESXe350-200808501-O-SG
md5sum: bee3e2da8054e46686e446e8dc49040e

NOTE: ESXe350-200808501-O-SG contains the following patch bundles:
ESXe350-200808501-I-SG, ESXe350-200808502-T-BG, and


ESX 3.5 patch ESX350-200808413-SG
md5sum: 2a683d099c28315475db53bd459dcc07
5. References

CVE numbers:

6. Change log

2008-09-18 VMSA-2008-0015
Initial security advisory after the release of ESXi 3.5 and ESX 3.5
patches on 2008-09-18.
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

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Copyright 2008 VMware Inc. All rights reserved.