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VMware addresses known password issue for vSphere Data Protection

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December 21, 2016

We just learned today that VMware has discovered and addressed two nasty security bugs that it recommends you fix at your earliest convenience.

To be sure, bulletin no. VMSA-2016-0024 is rated 'critical' since vSphere Data Protection (VDP) turns out to contain a private SSH key with a known password that is configured to allow key-based authentication, VMware asserts.

And what can an attacker do with that password? He can log into the appliance with full root privileges. VDP version 5.5 through 6.1 both have the security issue, which can be addressed using the procedure detailed on VMware's site.

For its part, bulletin no. VMSA-2016-0023 is rated important (not as critical, but still needs to be addressed).

VMware describes it as follows: ``The ESXi Host Client contains a security vulnerability that may allow for stored cross-site scripting (XSS) problems. The issue can be introduced by an attacker that has permission to manage virtual machines through ESXi Host Client or by tricking the vSphere administrator to import a specially crafted VM. The issue may be triggered on the system from where ESXi Host Client is used to manage the specially crafted VM.``

VMware advises not to import VMs from untrusted sources until you permanently fix this security problem, which you need to do anyway if you're running ESXi versions 5.5 and 6.0.

You can solve these security issues with this updated ESXi Host Client or by following the instructions given by the company on its site.

VMware has also acquired some people and a few assets from software-defined networking startup PlumGrid. Founded by former Cisco technicians and venture-backed, PlumGrid is trying to improve data centre security and some aspects of their management.

Source: VMware.

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