VMware VIX API allows for direct access to Guest Operating Systems (Guest OSs) by vSphere users with limited privileges.
VMware VIX API VM Direct Access Function security issue
The VMware VIX API has a functionality that allows for direct access to Guests OSs which is used by VMware Site Recovery Manager, VMware Update Manager, and VMware Infrastructure Navigator to manage Guest OSs. This functionality may be used by vSphere users with limited privileges to access a Guest OS without the need to authenticate.
In order for vSphere users with limited privileges to use this functionality, they would need to have all three of the following privileges:
Virtual Machine -> Configuration -> Advanced
Virtual Machine -> Interaction ->
Guest Operating System Management by VIX API
Host -> Configuration -> Advanced Settings
Workarounds that remove the direct access to Guest OSs by vSphere users with limited privileges are listed in VMware Knowledge Base article 2151027.
These workarounds are not relevant for vSphere users that are fully privileged. Typically they already have alternate ways to access Guest OSs.
VMware would like to thank Ofri Ziv and Itamar Tal of Guardicore for reporting this issue to us.
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the identifier CVE-2017-4919 to this issue.
Column 5 of the following table lists the action required to remediate the vulnerability in each release, if a solution is available.
Please review the patch/release notes for your product and version and verify the checksum of your downloaded file.
Apply the workaround listed in VMware Knowledge Base article 2151027.
6. Change log
Initial security advisory providing a workaround on 2017-07-27.
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