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

2006-08-02T00:00:00
ID SECURITYVULNS:DOC:13691
Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2006-08-02T00:00:00

Description

-- Corsaire Security Advisory --

Title: VMware ESX Server Password Disclosure in Cookie issue Date: 12.05.06 Application: VMware ESX prior to 2.5.2 patch 4 VMware ESX prior to 2.0.2 Environment: VMware ESX Author: Martin O'Neal [martin.oneal@corsaire.com] Audience: General distribution Reference: c060512-001

-- 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 gain access to users' (including root's) passwords under certain conditions.

-- History --

Discovered: 12.05.06 (Martin O'Neal) Vendor notified: 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 --

The Management Interface is a traditional web application, which utilises a session ID contained within two cookies; vmware.mui.kid and vmware.mui.sid. The Session ID format is proprietary and contains the user account and password in a simple (recursively) base64 encoded format.

If an attacker can gain access to the cookies by any mechanism, such as through a simple cross site scripting attack, then they will acquire not only the session ID, but the authentication credentials as well.

-- 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-2006-2481 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 2006 Corsaire Limited. All rights reserved.