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VMware ESXi, Fusion, Player, and Workstation updates address important guest privilege escalation vulnerability

VMware Security Advisory
Advisory ID: VMSA-2016-0001
Synopsis: VMware ESXi, Fusion, Player, and Workstation updates address important guest privilege escalation vulnerability
Issue date: 2016-01-07
Updated on: 2016-01-07 (Initial Advisory)
CVE numbers: CVE-2015-6933
1. Summary
VMware ESXi, Fusion, Player, and Workstation updates address important guest privilege escalation vulnerability
2. Relevant Releases

VMware ESXi 6.0 without patch ESXi600-201601102-SG
VMware ESXi 5.5 without patch ESXi550-201512102-SG
VMware ESXi 5.1 without patch ESXi510-201510102-SG
VMware ESXi 5.0 without patch ESXi500-201510102-SG

VMware Workstation prior to 11.1.2

VMware Player prior to 7.1.2

VMware Fusion prior to 7.1.2

3. Problem Description

Important Windows-based guest privilege escalation in VMware Tools

A kernel memory corruption vulnerability is present in the VMware Tools "Shared Folders" (HGFS) feature running on Microsoft Windows. Successful exploitation of this issue could lead to an escalation of privilege in the guest operating system.

VMware would like to thank Dmitry Janushkevich from the Secunia Research Team for reporting this issue to us.

Note: This vulnerability does not allow for privilege escalation from the guest operating system to the host. Host memory can not be manipulated from the guest operating system by exploiting this flaw.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ( has assigned the identifier CVE-2015-6933 to this issue.

Removing the "Shared Folders" (HGFS) feature from previously installed VMware Tools will remove the possibility of exploitation.

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*
===== ===== ====== =================
VMware ESXi 6.0 ESXi ESXi600-201601102-SG
VMware ESXi 5.5 ESXi ESXi550-201512102-SG
VMware ESXi 5.1 ESXi ESXi510-201510102-SG
VMware ESXi 5.0 ESXi ESXi500-201510102-SG
VMware Workstation 12.x.x Any not affected
VMware Workstation 11.x.x Any 11.1.2
VMware Player 12.x.x Any not affected
VMware Player 7.x.x Any 7.1.2
VMware Fusion 8.x.x OSX not affected
VMware Fusion 7.x.x OSX 7.1.2

*After the update or patch is applied, VMware Tools must also be updated in any Windows-based guests that include the "Shared Folders" (HGFS) feature to resolve CVE-2015-6933. The affected "Shared Folders" (HGFS) feature is installed by default on hosted (Workstation, Fusion, Player) products only. Alternatively, version 10.0.0 of VMware Tools is available for independent download and includes the fix.
4. Solution

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

VMware ESXi 6.0


VMware ESXi 5.5


VMware ESXi 5.1


VMware ESXi 5.0


VMware Workstation 11.1.2
Downloads and Documentation:

VMware Player 7.1.2
Downloads and Documentation:

VMware Fusion 7.1.2

VMware Tools 10.0.0


6. Change log
2016-01-07 VMSA-2016-0001 Initial security advisory in conjunction with the release of VMware ESXi 6.0 patches on 2016-01-07.
7. Contact

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