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Microsoft Vulnerability Research Advisory MSVR13-002

Vulnerability in VMware OVF Tool Could Allow Arbitrary Code Execution

Published: February 19, 2013

Version: 1.0

Overview

Executive Summary

Microsoft is providing notification of the discovery and remediation of a vulnerability affecting VMware OVF Tool software version 2.1 and earlier versions. Microsoft discovered and disclosed the vulnerability under coordinated vulnerability disclosure to the affected vendor, VMware. VMware has remediated the vulnerability in their software.

A format string vulnerability exists in the VMware OVF Tool which can be exploited when OVF Tool parses specially crafted OVF files. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

Microsoft Vulnerability Research reported this issue to and coordinated with VMware to ensure remediation of this issue. The vulnerability has been assigned the entry, CVE-2012-3569, in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list. For more information, including information about updates from VMware, see VMware security advisory VMSA-2012-0015.

Mitigating Factors

  • The vulnerability cannot be exploited automatically through email. For an attack to be successful, a user must open an attachment that is sent in an email message.
  • In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website that contains a specially crafted file that is used to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit such websites. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker’s website, and then convince them to open the specially crafted file.
  • An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

Advisory Details

Purpose and Recommendation

Purpose of Advisory: To notify users of a vulnerability and its remediation.

Advisory Status: Advisory published.

Recommendation: Review the Suggested Actions section and configure as appropriate.

Issue References

For more information about this issue, see the following references:

ReferenceIdentification
Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures CVE-2012-3569

Affected and Non-Affected Software

This advisory discusses the following software:

Affected Software
VMware OVF Tool version 2.1 and earlier versions[1]
Non-Affected Software
VMware OVF Tool 3.0.1[2]

[1]The VMware OVF Tool is bundled with VMware Hosted products, such as VMware Workstation and VMware Player. Versions of these VMware Hosted products may be affected by the vulnerability. For a complete list of affected software, see VMware security advisory VMSA-2012-0015.

[2]For a more complete list of non-affected VMware Hosted products, see VMware security advisory VMSA-2012-0015.

What is the scope of this advisory? 
This advisory is part of a coordinated release with affected vendors to inform customers of a security issue that may affect their systems.

Is this a security vulnerability that requires Microsoft to issue a security update? 
No. This vulnerability has been fixed via an update from the affected third-party vendors. The update remediates the software listed in the table, Affected Software.

What is the scope of the vulnerability? 
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

What causes the vulnerability? 
This vulnerability is caused by how the OVF Tool interprets format specifiers within a specially crafted OVF file.

What might an attacker use this vulnerability to do? 
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the security context of the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability? 
An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by tricking a user into opening a specially crafted file with an affected version of the VMware OVF Tool. Typically specially crafted files are delivered via social engineering techniques in email, instant messaging, or via download links on websites. This vulnerability cannot be exploited without user interaction.

Update to the latest version of VMware OVF Tool.

Other Information

Acknowledgments

Microsoft thanks the following:

  • Jeremy Brown of Microsoft, and VMware for working toward a resolution

Disclaimer

The information provided in this advisory is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

Revisions

  • V1.0 (February 19, 2013): Advisory published.

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