Note: This is an archival copy of Security Sun Alert 254568 as previously published on
Latest version of this security advisory is available from as Sun Alert 1020223.1.
Article ID : 1020223.1
Article Type : Sun Alerts (SURE)
Last reviewed : 2010-01-20
Audience : PUBLIC
Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2010, Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.

Security Vulnerability in Sun xVM VirtualBox for the Linux Platform may Lead to Escalation of Privileges


Release Phase

Bug Id

Date of Resolved Release

Security vulnerability in Sun xVM VirtualBox for the Linux platform may lead to escalation of privileges:

1. Impact

A security vulnerability in certain packages shipped with Sun xVM VirtualBox for the Linux platform may allow local unprivileged users, who are authorized to run VirtualBox, to execute arbitrary commands with root privileges.

2. Contributing Factors

This issue can occur in the following releases:

  • Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0.0, 2.0.2, 2.0.4 and 2.0.6r39760
  • Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.1.0, 2.1.2 and 2.1.4r42893
Note 1: This issue only affects the Linux platform. All other platforms and releases of Sun xVM VirtualBox are unaffected by this issue.

Note 2:  Sun xVM VirtualBox does not run on the SPARC Platform.

Note 3:  Only packages marked as "All distributions" are affected by this issue. All such packages are self-extracting installers.

To determine if a package is marked "All distributions", the following command may be used:
    $ grep "Package type:" ~/.VirtualBox/Machines/{VMNAME}/Logs/VBox.log
If the output of the above command includes the text:
    "Package type: LINUX_32BITS_GENERIC"
"Package type: LINUX_64BITS_GENERIC"
then the system includes self-extracting installer packages marked as "All distributions".

Note 4: Some Linux distributions provide customized wrapper packages which automatically download the "All distributions" packages from Sun (for example, the Gentoo virtualbox-bin package). Please check with the respective package maintainer for information.

Note 5: To determine the version (and the revision) of Sun xVM VirtualBox on a system, the following command can be used:
    $ <install-dir>/VBoxManage -version
3. Symptoms

There are no predictable symptoms that would indicate the described vulnerability has been exploited to gain elevated privileges.

4. Workaround

There is no workaround for this issue. Please see the "Resolution" section below.

5. Resolution

This issue is addressed in the following releases:

  • Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0.6r43001
  • Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.1.4r43001
Note: These releases are available only for the "All distribution" packages for the Linux x86 and amd64 platforms.

Sun xVM VirtualBox packages can be downloaded from the following site:
For more information on Security Sun Alerts, see 1009886.1.

This Sun Alert notification is being provided to you on an "AS IS" basis. This Sun Alert notification may contain information provided by third parties. The issues described in this Sun Alert notification may or may not impact your system(s). Sun makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees as to the information contained herein. ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT, ARE HEREBY DISCLAIMED. BY ACCESSING THIS DOCUMENT YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SUN SHALL IN NO EVENT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES THAT ARISE OUT OF YOUR USE OR FAILURE TO USE THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN. This Sun Alert notification contains Sun proprietary and confidential information. It is being provided to you pursuant to the provisions of your agreement to purchase services from Sun, or, if you do not have such an agreement, the Terms of Use. This Sun Alert notification may only be used for the purposes contemplated by these agreements.

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VirtualBox 2

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