Feeds

MS virtualisation bug dodges defences

Redmond downplays virtual PC vuln

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A newly discovered flaw in Microsoft's virtualisation technologies creates a potential mechanism for hackers to sidestep security defences.

The unpatched vulnerability creates a possible route around security threat mitigation technologies such as Data Execution Prevention (DEP), Safe Exception Handlers (SafeSEH) and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR). The security bypass bug affects Virtual PC but not Microsoft virtualisation products based on Redmond's Hyper-V enterprise-class server technology.

The shortcoming, discovered by Core Security, creates a way for hackers to attack applications provided they are running on a virtual PC. The same applications could not be hit in the same way if they were running on a standard PC or server.

Core went public with the publication of an advisory and proof-of-concept code on Tuesday after back-and-forth discussions with Microsoft over seven months reached an impasse. The security firm reckons the unpatched bug, which involves memory management of Microsoft's Virtual Machine Monitor, opening the way to all sorts of potential problems for systems running Windows Virtual PC, Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and Virtual Server 2005.

Redmond, by contrast, argues the alleged bug discovered by Core only offers a mechanism to "exploit security vulnerabilities already present on the system, rather than an actual vulnerability", security blogger Ryan Nardine reports.

Windows 7 uses Virtual PC technology to provide backward compatibility with older apps via XP Mode. Microsoft continues to say the use of this technology is safe, as explained in much more depth in a post on Redmond's security response blog here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.