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Date: Wed, 13 May 2015 22:05:00 +0000
From: Jason Geffner <>
To: "" <>
CC: "" <>
Subject: RE: VENOM - CVE-2015-3456

Hi Alexander,

Thank you for your response. As you mentioned, we shared the complete technical details of this vulnerability with the private "distros" list on April 30th, with the embargo on the vulnerability ending today.

We considered different ways of publicly sharing that technical information post-embargo and ultimately decided that providing greater details about the vulnerability and attack vectors would be better published by members of the community external to CrowdStrike. To that end, we'd like to defer to Petr Matousek's excellent blog post at where he describes the FDC's FIFO buffer vulnerability and the FDC commands that could be used by an adversary as attack vectors for the vulnerability.

I understand your criticism, and as a fellow security researcher, believe me, I fully empathize. When we are capable of sharing more technical details publicly, rest assured that I will notify oss-security at that time.

Jason Geffner
Sr. Security Researcher, CrowdStrike

-----Original Message-----
From: Solar Designer []
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 11:18 AM
To: Jason Geffner
Subject: Re: [oss-security] VENOM - CVE-2015-3456

All -

JFYI, Jason first brought this issue to the distros list on April 30.

Jason -

Thank you for making this mandatory oss-security posting, but ...

On Wed, May 13, 2015 at 12:22:19PM +0000, Jason Geffner wrote:
> VENOM, CVE-2015-3456, is a security vulnerability in the virtual floppy
drive code used by many computer virtualization platforms. This
vulnerability may allow an attacker to escape from the confines of an
affected virtual machine (VM) guest and potentially obtain code-execution
access to the host. Absent mitigation, this VM escape could open access to
the host system and all other VMs running on that host, potentially giving
adversaries significant elevated access to the host's local network and
adjacent systems.

This is way too little technical detail.  Your distros list posting included
a 4-page PDF file that actually contained some technical detail.  Ideally,
you'd post a text-only advisory with at least similar level of detail in
here.  Can you do that, please?

> Exploitation of the VENOM vulnerability can expose access to corporate
intellectual property (IP), in addition to sensitive and personally
identifiable information (PII), potentially impacting the thousands of
organizations and millions of end users that rely on affected VMs for the
allocation of shared computing resources, as well as connectivity, storage,
security, and privacy.

This paragraph is purely PR.  Not appropriate content for oss-security.

> Please see for further details.

While links to external resources are acceptable, ideally you'd include the
technical detail right in your oss-security posting as well.

Anyway, going to that URL I see only a FAQ that is lacking on technical
detail, and download links for the graphics.  There isn't even a download
link for the pretty PDF you had ready 2 weeks ago, or did I miss it?  Maybe
add it now?  Once again, ideally the content should be right here and in
text form rather than only on CrowdStrike website and "in graphics" or in
PDF, but making that PDF available for download is a step in the right

I am sorry for the criticism.  I actually appreciate your discovery and
handling of this vulnerability.  But you can clearly do better in the ways I
mentioned above, and clearly people are now wondering whether the
vulnerability is actually exploitable or just hype.  For example, questions
and concerns and sarcasm of this sort have appeared multiple times on my
Twitter timeline today.

I'd appreciate it if you release more information to the general public.



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