Menu
Xen Project patches serious virtual machine escape flaws

Xen Project patches serious virtual machine escape flaws

The updates fix a total of four flaws, two allowing privilege escalation from guest VMs to the host

The Xen Project has fixed four vulnerabilities in its widely used virtualization software, two of which could allow malicious virtual machine administrators to take over host servers.

Flaws that break the isolation layer between virtual machines are the most serious kind for a hypervisor like Xen, which allows users to run multiple VMs on the same underlying hardware in a secure manner.

The Xen hypervisor is widely used by cloud computing providers and virtual private server hosting companies like Linode, which had to reboot some of its servers over the past few days to apply the new patches.

The Xen updates, which were shared with partners in advance, were released publicly Thursday along with accompanying security advisories.

One vulnerability identified as CVE-2016-7093 affects Hardware Virtual Machines (HVMs) which use hardware-assisted virtualization. It allows an administrator of a guest OS to escalate their privilege to that of the host.

The vulnerability affects Xen versions 4.7.0 and later, as well as Xen releases 4.6.3 and 4.5.3 but only those deployments with HVM guests running on x86 hardware.

Another privilege escalation flaw identified as CVE-2016-7092 affects the other type of virtual machines supported by Xen: paravirtualized (PV) VMs. The vulnerability affects all Xen versions and allows administrators of 32-bit PV guests to gain privileges on the host.

The two other patched vulnerabilities, CVE-2016-7154 and CVE-2016-7094, can be exploited by guest administrators to cause denial-of-service conditions on the host. In the case of CVE-2016-7154, which only affects Xen 4.4, remote code execution and privilege escalation cannot be excluded, the Xen Project said in an advisory.

Meanwhile, CVE-2016-7094 affects all versions of Xen but only deployments hosting HVM guests on x86 hardware that are configured to run with shadow paging.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Slideshows

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Ingram Micro completed its nationwide roadshow in Auckland last month, kicking off its Innovation Hour series with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Uncovering the latest in storage, networking and servers, the event outlined key market trends for resellers in 2016 and beyond.

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise
IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

FireEye welcomed 143 channel partners and distributors to FireEye's 2016 annual Partner Conference, FireEye A/NZ Momentum - held at Establishment in Sydney. Delegates heard from senior trans-Tasman channel leaders, marketing and the product divisions in the morning, with FireEye customers, incident responders and threat intelligence analysts sharing knowledge during the afternoon.

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference
Show Comments