VMWare fixes holes that could allow virtual machine escapes

Acting now will almost certainly jump you ahead of the many inquisitive cybercriminals out there, given that none of the bugs patched in this update seem to be zero-day security holes.

Both CVE-2022-22040 and CVE-2022-22021 are annotated with the comment that “a malicious actor with local administrative privileges on a virtual machine may exploit this issue to execute code as the virtual machine’s VMX process running on the host.”

The big difference in this case is that virtual machine software is supposed to allow one computer, known as the host, to run numerous “Guest machines” that are oblivious to each other’s presence, even though they’re actually running on the same hardware.

Therefore any bug that undermines either guest-to-host cybersecurity separation, or even just guest-to-guest separation, must always be considered a serious security risk.

In other words, even if your general network security controls shield your Edge Appliances from direct probes from the internet, and therefore this bug might only be triggerable by network “Insiders”, the list of insiders with enough access to abuse this bug might be a long one.

If, for some reason, you can’t patch right away, VMWare has published a temporary workaround to prevent the guest-to-host escape bugs from being exploited, although this means managing without USB support inside your guest VMs. Happy patching!

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