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VMware Patches Critical Vulnerability Disclosed at Pwn2Own Hacking Contest

VMware this week released patches for a critical vulnerability disclosed at the Pwn2Own Vancouver 2023 hacking contest.

VMware this week announced patches for a critical-severity vulnerability in Workstation and Fusion that was disclosed in March 2023 at the Pwn2Own Vancouver hacking contest.

Tracked as CVE-2023-20869 (CVSS score of 9.3), the issue was discovered by Star Labs researchers, who earned an $80,000 bug bounty reward for the finding.

VMware’s advisory describes the security defect as a stack-based buffer overflow bug in the “functionality for sharing host Bluetooth devices with the virtual machine”.

A malicious attacker that has local administrative privileges on a virtual machine could exploit the flaw to execute code on the host as the virtual machine’s VMX process.

VMware addressed the vulnerability with the release of Workstation version 17.0.2 and Fusion version 13.0.2.

The updates for Workstation and Fusion also address three high-severity vulnerabilities that could lead to information leaks, privilege escalation, and code execution.

The first is CVE-2023-20870, an out-of-bounds read flaw impacting the Bluetooth device-sharing functionality of VMware Workstation and Fusion, and which could allow a threat actor to read privileged information from the hypervisor memory.

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Successful exploitation of the bug requires local administrator privileges to the virtual machine.

The second issue is CVE-2023-20871, a local privilege escalation vulnerability in VMware Fusion that could allow an attacker with read/write access to the host operating system to escalate their privileges to those of the ‘root’ user.

VMware also addressed an out-of-bounds read/write issue in the SCSI CD/DVD device emulation functionality of the two virtualization solutions. Tracked as CVE-2023-20872, the flaw was addressed in Workstation version 17.0.1 and Fusion version 13.0.1.

“A malicious attacker with access to a virtual machine that has a physical CD/DVD drive attached and configured to use a virtual SCSI controller may be able to exploit this vulnerability to execute code on the hypervisor from a virtual machine,” VMware explains.

Customers are advised to apply the available patches as soon as possible. While VMware made no mention of any of these vulnerabilities being exploited in malicious attacks, unpatched VMware products are known to have been targeted in attacks.

Related: VMware Patches Pre-Auth Code Execution Flaw in Logging Product

Related: Exploitation of Critical Vulnerability in End-of-Life VMware Product Ongoing

Related: VMware Plugs Critical Carbon Black App Control Flaw

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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