VMware patches virtual machine escape issue on Windows

The updates also address denial-of-service issues in multiple products

VMware logo

VMware logo

VMware has released security updates for several of its virtualization products in order to address critical vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to break out of virtual machines and execute rogue code on the host operating systems.

The code execution flaws affect the Windows versions of VMware Workstation, VMware Player and VMware Horizon Client. They were discovered by Kostya Kortchinsky of the Google Security Team and stem from a printer virtualization feature that allows a virtual machine's guest OS to access the printer attached to the host computer.

"On VMware Workstation 11.1, the virtual printer device is added by default to new VMs, and on recent Windows Hosts, the Microsoft XPS Document Writer is available as a default printer," Kortchinsky explained in an advisory. "Even if the VMware Tools are not installed in the Guest, the COM1 port can be used to talk to the Host printing Proxy."

An attacker with access to the guest OS can send EMFSPOOL and EMF files to the virtual COM1 serial port in order to exploit various vulnerabilities in the printer proxy process running on the host OS and then execute rogue code, the researcher said.

Some of the vulnerabilities can also be used to perform a denial-of-service attack against the Windows OS that runs the vulnerable VMware software.

VMware addressed the flaws in the newly released VMware Workstation 11.1.1 and 10.0.6; VMware Player 7.1.1 and 6.0.6 and the VMware Horizon Client for Windows 3.4.0, 3.2.1 and 5.4.2.

A workaround suggested by Kortchinsky is to "disconnect" the virtual printer from the guest OS or to remove it entirely from the virtual machine settings.

A separate input validation issue was identified for RPC commands in VMware Workstation 10.x, VMware Player 6.x, Fusion 7.x and 6.x, running on any supported platform. The flaw can be exploited to launch a denial-of-service attack against guest operating systems with the 32-bit architecture, or host operating systems with the 64-bit architecture.

To address this issue, users are advised to upgrade to VMware Workstation 10.0.5, VMware Player 6.0.6 or Fusion 7.0.1 and 6.0.6.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags VMwarepatchesExploits / vulnerabilities

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?