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AMD Radeon Driver Flaw Leads to VM Escape

A vulnerability in the AMD ATI Radeon ATIDXX64.DLL driver could be triggered from within a VMware guest to execute code on the host, Cisco Talos warns.

A vulnerability in the AMD ATI Radeon ATIDXX64.DLL driver could be triggered from within a VMware guest to execute code on the host, Cisco Talos warns.

This specific vulnerability exists on the AMD Radeon RX 550 and the 550 series video cards. What’s more, the issue can only be triggered when running VMWare Workstation 15, Talos’ security researchers have discovered.

The security bug was found in the ATIDXX64.DLL driver versions 25.20.15031.5004 and 25.20.15031.9002, and only exists on VMWare Workstation 15 running as guest on a Windows 10 x64 machine.

The security researchers explain that an out-of-bounds memory write could be triggered via a specially crafted pixel shader inside the VMware guest OS, to the AMD ATIDXX64.DLL driver.

The attacker could trigger the flaw from a VMware guest usermode to potentially execute code on the associated VMware host. An attacker could theoretically trigger the issue through WEBGL (remote website) as well.

“An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by supplying a malformed pixel shared inside the VMware guest operating system to the driver. This could corrupt memory in a way that would allow the attacker to gain the ability to remotely execute code on the victim machine,” Talos says.

Tracked as CVE-2019-5049, the vulnerability has a CVSS score of 9.0.

Talos says they reported the vulnerability to AMD in early May, but a patch was released only this week.

Related: Vulnerabilities in Device Drivers From 20 Vendors Expose PCs to Persistent Malware

Related: NVIDIA Patches High Severity Bugs in GPU Display Driver

Related: Multiple Vulnerabilities Patched in ASRock Drivers

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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