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Vigil@nce: VMware, privilege elevation under 64 bits

October 2008 by Vigil@nce


An attacker can elevate his privileges inside a virtual guest running a 64 bits BSD or Windows system.

Gravity: 2/4

Consequences: administrator access/rights

Provenance: user account

Means of attack: no proof of concept, no attack

Ability of attacker: expert (4/4)

Confidence: confirmed by the editor (5/5)

Diffusion of the vulnerable configuration: high (3/3)

Creation date: 06/10/2008


- VMware ACE
- VMware ESX Server
- VMware ESX Server 3i
- VMware Player
- VMware Server
- VMware Workstation


The VIGILANCE-VUL-8087 ( vulnerability describe an error in the handling of the SwapGS assembler instruction on FreeBSD/amd64, which can be used by an attacker to obtain kernel privileges.

The VMware emulator is impacted by the same vulnerability, which can be exploited in a BSD or Windows (not Linux) system, on a 64 bits platform.

An attacker with a user access inside a 64 bits BSD/Windows guest system can therefore obtain kernel privileges of the guest system. He does not obtain kernel privileges of the host system.


Identifiers: BID-31569, CVE-2008-4279, VIGILANCE-VUL-8148, VMSA-2008-0014, VMSA-2008-0014.1, VMSA-2008-0014.2, VMSA-2008-0016

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