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Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2008 09:45:52 -0400
From: iDefense Labs <>
Subject: iDefense Security Advisory 06.04.08: VMware Multiple Products vmware-authd
 Untrusted Library Loading Vulnerability

iDefense Security Advisory 06.04.08
Jun 04, 2008


VMware Inc. markets several virtualization products which allow multiple
virtual computers to run on a single system. For more information visit
the following URL.


Local exploitation of an untrusted library path vulnerability in
multiple products distributed by VMware Inc. could allow an attacker to
execute arbitrary code with root privileges.

The Linux version of VMware products include a program called
'vmware-authd', which is installed set-uid root. When this program is
executed, it reads configuration options from the executing user's
VMware configuration file. One such option allows the user to specify
the directory in which to look for shared library modules needed by the
program. By loading a specially crafted library, an attacker can execute
arbitrary code with elevated privileges.


Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary
code with root privileges. In order to exploit this vulnerability, an
attacker must have access to execute the set-uid vmware-authd binary on
an affected system. No additional credentials are needed.


iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in the following
VMware products.

  VMware Workstation for Linux
  VMware GSX Server for Linux
  VMware ESX Server

All versions of all products which include a set-uid vmware-authd binary
are suspected to be vulnerable.


To prevent exploitation of this vulnerability, modify the file
permissions for the vmware-authd set-uid binary. Possible choices
include removing the set-uid bit, or only allowing members of a trusted
group to execute the binary.


VMware has addressed this vulnerability by release new versions of their
products. For more information, consult their advisory at the following


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2008-0967 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


01/30/2008  Initial vendor notification
01/30/2008  Initial vendor response
06/04/2008  Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2008 iDefense, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDefense. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically,
please e-mail for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
 There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct,
indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or
reliance on, this information.

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