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VMware ESX, Workstation, Fusion, and View VMCI privilege escalation vulnerability

VMware Security Advisory
Advisory ID: VMSA-2013-0002.1
Synopsis: VMware ESX, Workstation, Fusion, and View VMCI privilege escalation vulnerability
Issue date: 2013-02-07
Updated on: 2013-02-13
CVE numbers: CVE-2013-1406
1. Summary

VMware ESX, Workstation, Fusion, and View address a vulnerability in the VMCI.SYS driver which could result in a privilege escalation on Windows-based hosts and on Windows-based Guest Operating Systems.

2. Relevant releases

VMware Workstation 9.0
VMware Workstation 8.x prior to version 8.0.5

VMware Fusion 5.x prior to version 5.0.2
VMware Fusion 4.x prior to version 4.1.4

VMware View 5.x prior to version 5.1.2
VMware View 4.x prior to version 4.6.2

VMware ESXi 5.1 without ESXi510-201212102-SG
VMware ESXi 5.0 without ESXi500-201212102-SG
VMware ESXi 4.1.without ESXi410-201211402-BG
VMware ESXi 4.0 without ESXi400-201302402-SG

VMware ESX 4.1.without ESX410-201211401-SG
VMware ESX 4.0 without ESX400-201302401-SG

3. Problem Description
a. VMware VMCI privilege escalation

VMware ESX, Workstation, Fusion, and View contain a vulnerability in the handling of control code in vmci.sys. A local malicious user may exploit this vulnerability to manipulate the memory allocation through the Virtual Machine Communication Interface (VMCI) code. This could result in a privilege escalation on Windows-based hosts and on Windows-based Guest Operating Systems.

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

Systems that have VMCI disabled are also affected by this issue.

VMware would like to thank Derek Soeder of Cylance, Inc. and Kostya Kortchinsky of Microsoft for independently reporting this issue to us.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ( has assigned the names CVE-2013-1406 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 Windows 9.0.1
Workstation 8.x Windows 8.0.5
Fusion 5.0 Mac OS/X 5.0.2
Fusion 4.1 Mac OS/X 4.1.4
View 5.x Windows 5.1.2
View 4.x Windows 4.6.2
ESXi 5.1 ESXi ESXi510-201212102-SG
ESXi 5.0 ESXi ESXi500-201212102-SG
ESXi 4.1 ESXi ESXi410-201211402-BG
ESXi 4.0 ESXi ESXi400-201302402-SG
ESXi 3.5 ESXi not affected
ESX 4.1 ESX ESX410-201211401-SG
ESX 4.0 ESX ESX400-201302401-SG
ESX 3.5 ESX not affected

* Notes on updating VMware Guest Tools:

After the update or patch is applied, VMware Guest Tools must be updated in any pre-existing Windows-based Guest Operating  System followed by a reboot of the guest system.

4. Solution

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

VMware Workstation 9.0.1
File: VMware-workstation-full-9.0.1-894247.exe

VMware Workstation 8.0.5
File: VMware-workstation-full-8.0.5-893925.exe

VMware Fusion 5.0.2
File: VMware-Fusion-5.0.2-900491.dmg

VMware Fusion 4.1.4
File: VMware-Fusion-4.1.4-900582-light.dmg

View 5.1.2

Release Notes

VMware View Connection Server (32-bit)

VMware View Connection Server (64-bit)

View 4.6.2

Release Notes

VMware View Connection Server (32-bit)

VMware View Connection Server (64-bit)

ESXi and ESX

ESXi 5.1
md5sum: 81d562c00942973f13520afac4868748
sha1sum: ec1ff6d3e3c9b127252ba1b710c74119f1164786
ESXi510-201212001 contains ESXi510-201212102-SG

ESXi 5.0
md5sum: ab8f7f258932a39f7d3e7877787fd198
sha1sum: b65bacab4e38cf144e223cff4770501b5bd23334 contains ESXi500-201212102-SG

ESXi 4.1
md5sum: f7da5cd52d3c314abc31fe7aef4e50d3
sha1sum: a4d2232723717d896ff3b0879b0bdb3db823c0a1
ESXi410-201211001 contains ESXi410-201211402-BG

ESXi 4.0
md5sum: 8fca17ca97669dd1d34c34902e8e7ddf
sha1sum: 51d76922eb7116810622acdd611f3029237a5680
ESXi400-201302001 contains ESXi400-201302402-SG

ESX 4.1
md5sum: c167bccc388661e329fc494df13855c3
sha1sum: a8766b2eff68813a262d21a6a6ebeaae62e58c98
ESX410-201211001 contains ESX410-201211401-SG

ESX 4.0
md5sum: 5ca4276e97c19b832d778e17e5f4ba64
sha1sum: 8d73cf062d8b23bd23f9b85d23f97f2888e4612f
ESX400-201302001 contains ESX400-201302401-SG

6. Change log

2013-02-07 VMSA-2013-0002
Initial security advisory in conjunction with the release of ESX 4.0 patches on 2013-02-07

2013-02-13 VMSA-2013-0002.1
Updated problem description based on customer feedback.

7. Contact

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