VMware’s Virtual Appliances Receive Meltdown & Spectre Fixes



/ 10 months ago

Meltdown & Spectre

Meltdown & Spectre are still hard to beat.

Another company that’s been working hard on Meltdown & Spectre fixes is VMware. The cloud computing and platform virtualization software provider has recently issued some patches and workarounds for various virtual appliances. These virtual appliances are apparently vulnerable to Meltdown & Spectre, especially when it comes to CPU data cache timing. The company issued an official warning, stating that the abuse could “leak information out of mis-speculated CPU execution, leading to (at worst) arbitrary virtual memory read vulnerabilities across local security boundaries in various contexts.”

Worst case scenario, the cache timing exploit could lead to information disclosure.

How many patches are out so far?

VMware has only released a single patch at the time of writing. This patch is for the vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) products, but mitigation tips are available for all other affected products. The complete list of affected VMware products is as follows:  vCloud Usage Meter (UM), Identity Manager (vIDM), vCenter Server (vCSA), vSphere Data Protection (VDP), vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC), and vRealize Automation (vRA). However, the company also advises users to not implement workarounds for products that are not present on the list. Below you will find a complete list of workarounds, which are useful until official patches arrive.

  • vCloud Usage Meter (UM): KB52467
  • Identity Manager (vIDM) 3.x, 2.x: KB52284
  • vCenter Server (vCSA) 6.0, 6.5: KB52312 [5.5 isn’t affected]
  • vSphere Data Protection (VDP): Unavailable
  • vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC): Patch available
  • vRealize Automation (vRA): 7.x KB52377 | 6.x KB52497

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