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VMware Patches VM Escape Flaw Exploited at Geekpwn Event

Virtualization technology giant VMware on Tuesday shipped urgent updates to fix a trio of security problems in multiple software products, including a virtual machine escape bug exploited at the GeekPwn 2022 hacking challenge.

Virtualization technology giant VMware on Tuesday shipped urgent updates to fix a trio of security problems in multiple software products, including a virtual machine escape bug exploited at the GeekPwn 2022 hacking challenge.

The VM escape flaw, documented as CVE-2022-31705, was exploited by Ant Security researcher Yuhao Jiang on systems running fully patched VMware Fusion, ESXi and Workstation products.  

The exploit took the top prize at Geekpwn, a hacking contest run by China-based Tencent Keen Security Lab.

In a security bulletin issued Tuesday, VMWare slapped a CVSS severity rating of 9.3/10 and warned that a malicious actor with local administrative privileges on a virtual machine may exploit this issue to execute code as the virtual machine’s VMX process running on the host

“On ESXi, the exploitation is contained within the VMX sandbox whereas, on Workstation and Fusion, this may lead to code execution on the machine where Workstation or Fusion is installed,” VMware added.

[ Read: VMware Confirms Workspace One Exploits in the Wild ]

VMware documented the bug as a heap out-of-bounds write vulnerability in the USB 2.0 controller (EHCI).

The company also released fixes cover a pair of command injection and directory traversal bugs affecting the VMware vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) product.

“[The] vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) contains a command injection vulnerability present in the vRNI REST API. VMware has evaluated the severity of this issue to be in the critical severity range with a maximum CVSSv3 base score of 9.8,” the company said in a critical-severity advisory.

“A malicious actor with network access to the vRNI REST API can execute commands without authentication,” VMware added.

Related: NSA Outs Chinese Hackers Exploiting Citrix Zero-Day

Related: Exploit Code Published for Critical VMware Security Flaw

Related: Fortinet Ships Emergency Patch for Already-Exploited VPN Flaw

Written By

Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a security community engagement expert who has built programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. Ryan is a founding-director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world.

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