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Disgruntled Security Researcher Publishes Major VirtualBox 0-Day Exploit

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"A Russian security researcher has published details about a zero-day vulnerability affecting VirtualBox, an Oracle software application for running virtual machines," reports ZDNet.

According to a text file uploaded on GitHub, Saint Petersburg-based researcher Sergey Zelenyuk has found a chain of bugs that can allow malicious code to escape the VirtualBox virtual machine (the guest OS) and execute on the underlying (host) operating system. Once out of the VirtualBox VM, the malicious code runs in the OS' limited userspace (kernel ring 3), but Zelenyuk said that attackers can use many of the already known privilege escalation bugs to gain kernel-level access (ring 0). "The exploit is 100% reliable," Zelenyuk said . "It means it either works always or never because of mismatched binaries or other, more subtle reasons I didn't account."

Long-time Slashdot readerArtem Tashkinov warns that the exploit utilizes "bugs in the data link layer of the default E1000 network interface adapter which makes this vulnerability critical for everyone who uses virtualization to run untrusted code ." According to ZDNet, the same security researcher "found and reported a similar issue in mid-2017, which Oracle took over 15 months to fix."

"This lengthy and drawn-out patching process appears to have angered Zelenyuk, who instead of reporting this bug to Oracle, has decided to publish details online without notifying the vendor."


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