TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

(Pwn2Own) VMware Workstation Uninitialized Memory Privilege Escalation Vulnerability

ZDI-17-239: March 30th, 2017


CVSS Score

Affected Vendors

Affected Products

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows local attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of VMware Workstation. An attacker must first obtain the ability to execute low-privileged code on the target system in order to exploit this vulnerability.

The specific flaw exists within the handling of XHCI communication. The issue results from the lack of proper initialization of memory prior to accessing it. An attacker can leverage this vulnerability to elevate privileges and execute arbitrary code under the context of the hypervisor.

Vendor Response

VMware has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details can be found at:

Disclosure Timeline

    2017-03-18 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2017-03-30 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Tencent Security - Team Sniper (Keen Lab and PC Mgr)