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TUCoPS :: VMWare :: b06-3953.htm

VMware ESX Server Password Disclosure in Log issue



Corsaire Security Advisory - VMware ESX Server Password Disclosure in Log issue
Corsaire Security Advisory - VMware ESX Server Password Disclosure in Log issue




-- 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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