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VMware Pushes Out Fixes for 3 Hardware Security Holes

VMware has released security updates for three significant flaws in vCenter Server and ESXi.

According to the company, the at-risk versions begin at 5.0 and go through the latest version of vCenter Server, which is 6.0

VMware has released a security advisory that alerts users of the problems and encourages immediate downloads of patches. The first one discussed is a flaw with VMware ESXi OpenSLP Remote Code Execution, that could let an unauthenticated attacker execute code remotely on an ESXi host. ESXi is VMware's hypervisor. ESXi versions 5.0, 5.1 and 5.5 are vulnerable, while the newest version, 6.0, isn't affected. A separate patch has been created for each version.

The second flaw, which VMware is calling "VMware vCenter Server JMX RMI Remote Code Execution," was found by Doug McLeod of 7 Elements. McLeod writes that "… the vulnerability takes advantage of an insecure deployment of the JMX/RMI service used to manage and monitor the Java Virtual Machine." McLeod posted proof-of-concept code along with the article. If this attack succeeded, VMware says an unauthorized user could execute arbitrary code on the vCenter Server.

The JMX RMI vulnerability affects versions of vCenter from the 6.0, the most current one, back to 5.0.

Finally, vCenter Server also has a Denial-of-Service (DOS) flaw in its vpxd service. VMware said that vCenter Server "does not properly sanitize long heartbeat messages," which could allow a hacker to create a DOS situation in vpxd. Vpxd allows the vSphere Client to connect to the vCenter Server; without it, an admin won't be able to manage the server.

This security hole was found by the Google Security Team. It doesn't affect vCenter Server 6.0, but does affect 5.0, 5.1 and 5.5.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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