Linux Kernel KVM Virtualization Subsystem Local Privilege Escalation Vulnerability [CVE-2018-10901]

CVE Number – CVE-2018-10901

A vulnerability in the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization subsystem of the Linux Kernel could allow a local attacker to gain elevated privileges on a targeted system.

The vulnerability exists because the vmx.c source code file of the affected software fails to set the GDT.LIMIT value to the previous host value and instead sets it to 64 KB. As a result, malicious entries could be placed in the Global Descriptor Table (GDT) on an affected system. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by submitting a request that submits malicious input to the targeted system. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to gain elevated privileges on the system. has confirmed the vulnerability and released software updates.

  • To exploit this vulnerability, the attacker must have user-level access to the targeted system. This access requirement may reduce the likelihood of a successful exploit.
  • Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.

    Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to access local systems.

    Administrators are advised to allow only privileged users to access administration or management systems.

    Administrators are advised to monitor critical systems.

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Duncan Newell

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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