VMware has fixed a privilege-escalation flaw in two of its major products that could allow a local attacker to gain root privileges on a vulnerable machine. The bug affects VMware Workstation and Player on certain Linux platforms.

The vulnerability, which VMware patched on Thursday, does not enable an attacker to jump from the host operating system to the guest OS or vice versa, which mitigates some of the seriousness of the bug. VMware said that the problem affects its products running on Debian-based systems.

“VMware Workstation and Player contain a vulnerability in the handling of the vmware-mount command. A local malicious user may exploit this vulnerability to escalate their privileges to root on the host OS. The issue is present when Workstation or Player are installed on a Debian-based version of Linux.” the VMware advisory says.

“The vulnerability does not allow for privilege escalation from the Guest Operating System to the host or vice-versa. This means that host memory can not be manipulated from the Guest Operating System.”

The vulnerability affects VMware Workstation 9.x and 8.x and also Player 5.x and 4.x. VMware said that customers can also work around the vulnerability by removing the setuid bit from vmware-mount.

Image from Flickr photos of Ferran Rodenas.


Categories: Vulnerabilities