|Public release ||2015-12-21 11:12|
|Updated ||2015-12-22 18:46|
|Title ||x86: unintentional logging upon guest changing callback method|
Filesadvisory-169.txt (signed advisory file)
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Xen Security Advisory CVE-2015-8615 / XSA-169
x86: unintentional logging upon guest changing callback method
UPDATES IN VERSION 2
HYPERVISOR_hvm_op sub-op HVMOP_set_param's HVM_PARAM_CALLBACK_IRQ
operation intends to log the new callback method in debug builds only.
The full message, however, is split into two parts, the second one of
which didn't get suppressed on non-debug builds as would have been
These log messages are not rate-limited and can be triggered by guests.
A malicious guest could cause repeated logging to the hypervisor
console, leading to a Denial of Service attack.
Xen version 4.6 is affected. Older Xen versions are unaffected.
ARM systems are not affected.
Only x86 HVM guests can expose this vulnerability.
Running only PV guests will avoid this issue.
The problematic log messages are issued with priority Warning.
Therefore they can be rate limited by adding "loglvl=error/warning" to
the hypervisor command line or suppressed entirely by adding
On systems where the guest kernel is controlled by the host rather
than guest administrator, running only kernels which do not excessively
invoke this operation will also prevent untrusted guest users from
exploiting this issue. However untrusted guest administrators can still
trigger it unless further steps are taken to prevent them from loading
code into the kernel (e.g. by disabling loadable modules etc) or from
using other mechanisms which allow them to run code at kernel privilege.
NOTE REGARDING LACK OF EMBARGO
The fix for this bug was publicly posted on xen-devel, before it was
appreciated that there was a security problem.
This issue was discovered as a bug by Malcolm Crossley of Citrix; the
security impact was recognised by Jan Beulich of SuSE.
Applying the attached patch resolves this issue.
xsa169.patch xen-unstable, Xen 4.6.x
$ sha256sum xsa169*
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Xenproject.org Security Team