Security Experts:

VMware Patches VDP, ESXi Vulnerabilities

VMware has released patches that address important and critical vulnerabilities affecting the company’s vSphere Data Protection (VDP) and ESXi products.

The critical flaw was discovered by Marc Ströbel (phroxvs) of HvS-Consulting in VDP, a piece of software designed for creating image-level backups of virtual machines, virtual servers and databases.

According to VMware, VDP includes a private SSH key with a known password that allows key-based authentication. A network attacker can exploit this weakness to log into the affected appliance with root privileges.

The flaw, tracked as CVE-2016-7456, affects VDP versions 5.5.x, 5.8.x, 6.0.x and 6.1.x. The vendor has released a patch that changes the default SSH keys after the deployment of the product.

The second vulnerability addressed this week by VMware is a stored cross-site scripting (XSS) issue affecting the ESXi hypervisor. An attacker who has permission to manage virtual machines (VM) via the ESXi Host Client can import a specially crafted VM that triggers the flaw. The security hole can also be exploited by tricking a vSphere administrator into importing the malicious VM.

The flaw, discovered by Caleb Watt and tracked as CVE-2016-7463, affects ESXi versions 5.5 and 6.0. Patches have been made available for both versions.

Security experts have increasingly turned their attention to VMware products. The number of advisories published by the company in 2016 has been 24, nearly three times more than in the previous year.

Hacking competitions have also started offering significant rewards for vulnerabilities in VMware products. At this year’s Pwn2Own competition, participants were invited to escape a VMware Workstation VM for a bonus of $75,000, but no one managed to complete the task.

However, at the PwnFest hacking competition that took place in November in South Korea, researchers earned $150,000 for a critical remote code execution flaw affecting Fusion and Workstation.

Related: VMware Updates Products Due to Flaw in Apache Flex BlazeDS

Related: Information Disclosure Flaws Patched in VMware Products

Related: VMware Flaws Allow Security Bypass on Mac OS X

Related: VMware Patches Directory Traversal Flaw in Horizon View

view counter
Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.