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Corsaire Security Advisory 2005-11-14.3

Corsaire Security Advisory 2005-11-14.3
Posted Aug 17, 2006
Authored by Stephen de Vries, Corsaire

Corsaire Security Advisory - The VMware ESX Server product will allow a local attacker to read users' (including root's) passwords under certain conditions.

tags | advisory, local, root
advisories | CVE-2005-3620
MD5 | f313bf44df34ab80460c041e8be230d4

Corsaire Security Advisory 2005-11-14.3

Change Mirror Download

-- Corsaire Security Advisory --

Title: VMware ESX Server Password Disclosure in Log issue
Date: 14.11.05
Application: VMware ESX prior to 2.5.3 upgrade patch 2
VMware ESX prior to 2.1.3 upgrade patch 1
VMware ESX prior to 2.0.2 upgrade patch 1
Environment: VMware ESX
Author: Stephen de Vries [stephen.de.vries@corsaire.com]
Audience: General distribution
Reference: c051114-003


-- Scope --

The aim of this document is to clearly define an issue that exists with
the VMware ESX Server product [1] that will allow a local attacker to
read users' (including root's) passwords under certain conditions.


-- History --

Discovered: 11.11.05 (Stephen de Vries)
Vendor notified via client: 15.11.05
Vendor notified directly: 19.05.06
Document released: 31.07.06


-- Overview --

VMware ESX Server is described [1] as virtual infrastructure software
for partitioning, consolidating and managing servers in mission-critical
environments.

The software provides a virtualization layer that allows multiple x86
based operating systems to run on the same hardware concurrently. The
ESX Server product differs from other VMware products in that it does
not require a "host" operating system to be provided by the user.
Instead, it uses a custom x86 kernel as the host, along with a
customised Linux operating system as a "console O/S".

VMware ESX Server includes a number of network services and a web
application, called the "VMware Management Interface" that can be used
to perform remote administration of the system.


-- Analysis --

One of the functions provided by the Management Interface is to change
passwords. Through an HTML form, the user is requested to enter and
confirm their new password. This data is sent through an HTTP GET
request to the server. For example, when changing the root user's
password to "test", the following request would be sent:

https://address-of-vmware-server/sx-
users?op=setUsr&ag=&rg=&nm=root&hd=%2Froot&pw=test&pwc=test&grpSlct=

This request along with the passwords is logged in the Apache access
logs: /var/log/httpd/access_log and /var/log/httpd/ssl_request_log. It
is also rotated into the corresponding backup logs.

The permissions on these files permit world read access. This would
allow all local users of the system to view the files and consequently
all passwords that were set using the Management Interface.


-- Recommendations --

Upgrade to a version of the VMware ESX product that does not exhibit
this issue.


-- CVE --

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2005-3620 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardises names for
security problems.


-- References --

[1] http://www.vmware.com/products/esx/


-- Revision --

a. Initial release.
b. Minor edits.
c. Released.


-- Distribution --

The information contained within this advisory is supplied "as-is" with
no warranties or guarantees of fitness of use or otherwise. Corsaire
accepts no responsibility for any damage caused by the use or misuse of
this information.


-- Disclaimer --

The information contained within this advisory is supplied "as-is" with
no warranties or guarantees of fitness of use or otherwise. Corsaire
accepts no responsibility for any damage caused by the use or misuse of
this information.


-- About Corsaire --

Corsaire are a leading information security consultancy, founded in 1997
in Guildford, Surrey, UK. Corsaire bring innovation, integrity and
analytical rigour to every job, which means fast and dramatic security
performance improvements. Our services centre on the delivery of
information security planning, assessment, implementation, management
and vulnerability research.

A free guide to selecting a security assessment supplier is available at
http://www.penetration-testing.com


Copyright 2005-2006 Corsaire Limited. All rights reserved.

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