VENOM – A Potentially Serious Virtual Machine Exploit

VENOM is a virtual machine bug which exploits the floppy disk controller used in some hypervisors and allows an attacker to break out of a guest O/S and escape into a host O/S.

“VENOM, CVE-2015-3456, is a security vulnerability in the virtual floppy drive code used by many computer virtualization platforms. This vulnerability may allow an attacker to escape from the confines of an affected virtual machine (VM) guest and potentially obtain code-execution access to the host. Absent mitigation, this VM escape could open access to the host system and all other VMs running on that host, potentially giving adversaries significant elevated access to the host’s local network and adjacent systems.”

Affected Oracle products:

  • VirtualBox prior to 4.3.28
  • Oracle VM 2.2 to 3.3
  • Oracle Linux 5 to 7

Hypervisors affected:

  • Xen (VirtualBox), KVM, QEMU, possibly others

Hypervisors not affected:

  • VMWare, Microsoft Hyper-V, Bochs

Patches available:

Workarounds:

  • VirtualBox users should disable the floppy controller in their VM configuration.

Reference:

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