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VMSA-2013-0010

VMware Workstation host privilege escalation vulnerability

VMware Security Advisory
Advisory ID: VMSA-2013-0010
Synopsis: VMware Workstation host privilege escalation vulnerability
Issue date: 2013-08-22
Updated on: 2013-08-22 (initial advisory)
CVE numbers: CVE-2013-1662
1. Summary

VMware Workstation and VMware Player address a vulnerability in the vmware-mount component which could result in a privilege escalation on linux-based host machines.
2. Relevant releases

VMware Workstation 9.x
VMware Workstation 8.x

VMware Player 5.x
VMware Player 4.x
3. Problem Description


a. VMware mount privilege escalation

VMware Workstation and Player contain a vulnerability in the handling of the vmware-mount command. A local malicious user may exploit this vulnerability to escalate their privileges to root on the host OS. The issue is present when Workstation or Player are installed on a Debian-based version of Linux.

The vulnerability does not allow for privilege escalation from the Guest Operating System to the host or vice-versa. This means that host memory can not be manipulated from the Guest Operating System.

Workaround
A workaround for the issue is to remove the setuid bit from vmware-mount:

#chmod u-s /usr/bin/vmware-mount

This workaround is relevant for both Workstation and Player.

VMware would like to thank Tavis Ormandy from the Google Security Team for reporting this issue to us.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CVE-2013-1662 to this issue.

Column 4 of the following table lists the action required to remediate the vulnerability in each release, if a solution is available.

VMware Product Running Replace with /
Product Version on Apply Patch*
==========
=====
=====
==================
Workstation 9.x Linux * See section 4. Solution
Workstation 8.x Linux * See section 4. Solution
Player 5.x Linux * See section 4. Solution
Player 4.x Linux * See section 4. Solution
Fusion any Mac/OS Not affected
ESXi any ESXi Not affected
ESX any ESX Not affected


* The issue is present if Workstation or Player is installed on a Debian-based version of Linux (e.g. Ubuntu).

4. Solution


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

VMware Workstation 9.x, 8.x
--------------------------------
https://www.vmware.com/go/downloadworkstation

To remediate the issue, replace /usr/bin/vmware-mount on the host with a fixed version present in the Drivers and Tools tab of the download page for Workstation listed above.

VMware Player 5.x, 4.x
--------------------------------    
https://www.vmware.com/go/downloadplayer

To remediate the issue, replace /usr/bin/vmware-mount on the host with a fixed version present in the Drivers and Tools tab of the download page for Player listed above.

5. References


http://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2013-1662

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6. Change log


2013-08-22 VMSA-2013-0010
Initial security advisory in conjunction with the release of an updated version of vmware-mount for Workstation 8 and Workstation 9 and Player 4 and Player 5.

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7. Contact


E-mail list for product security notifications and announcements:
http://lists.vmware.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/security-announce

This Security Advisory is posted to the following lists:

* security-announce at lists.vmware.com
* bugtraq at securityfocus.com
* full-disclosure at lists.grok.org.uk

E-mail: security at vmware.com
PGP key at: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1055

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