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Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:00:11 +0000
From: Xen.org security team <security@....org>
To: xen-announce@...ts.xen.org, xen-devel@...ts.xen.org,
 xen-users@...ts.xen.org, oss-security@...ts.openwall.com
CC: Xen.org security team <security-team-members@....org>
Subject: Xen Security Advisory 250 - improper x86 shadow mode refcount
 error handling

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Hash: SHA256

                    Xen Security Advisory XSA-250
                              version 2

           improper x86 shadow mode refcount error handling

UPDATES IN VERSION 2
====================

Public release.

Provide metadata file.

ISSUE DESCRIPTION
=================

Pages being used to run x86 guests in shadow mode are reference counted
to track their uses.  When another reference cannot be acquired, the
corresponding page table entry must not be inserted.  Due to incorrect
error handling, this constraint could be violated.

IMPACT
======

A malicious or buggy guest may cause a hypervisor crash, resulting in
a Denial of Service (DoS) affecting the entire host, or cause hypervisor
memory corruption.  We cannot rule out a guest being able to escalate
its privilege.

VULNERABLE SYSTEMS
==================

All Xen versions are affected.

x86 systems are vulnerable.  ARM systems are not vulnerable.

Only guests run in shadow mode can exploit the vulnerability.

PV guests typically only run in shadow mode during live migration, as
well as for features like VM snapshot.

Note that save / restore does *not* use shadow mode, and so does not
expose this vulnerability.  Some downstreams also  include a "non-live
migration" feature, which also does not use shadow mode (and thus does
not expose this vulnerability).

HVM guests run in shadow mode on hardware without HAP support, or when
HAP is disabled (globally or in the VM configuration file).  Live
migration does not affect an HVM guest's use of shadow mode.

MITIGATION
==========

For HVM guest explicitly configured to use shadow paging (e.g. via the
`hap=0' xl domain configuration file parameter), changing to HAP (e.g.
by setting `hap=1') will avoid exposing the vulnerability to those
guests.  HAP is the default (in upstream Xen), where the hardware
supports it; so this mitigation is only applicable if HAP has been
disabled by configuration.

For PV guests, avoiding their live migration avoids the vulnerability.

CREDITS
=======

This issue was discovered by Jan Beulich of SUSE.

RESOLUTION
==========

Applying the appropriate attached patch resolves this issue.

xsa250.patch           xen-unstable, Xen 4.9.x ... 4.6.x
xsa250-4.5.patch       Xen 4.5.x

$ sha256sum xsa250*
c15c1c3e64cfb7ab2e2c48970214aa8c3881deb7e11c498526554bb74535b601  xsa250.meta
adf4d8242dbddb4ec52fe1effc1f8b233d33d8d6a59c1bb677dcc6e2ed2bf711  xsa250.patch
d123a58308db606185c4e48dcf4a114ac29bb988ffc0eeb04ded213ec474e0f2  xsa250-4.5.patch
$

DEPLOYMENT DURING EMBARGO
=========================

Deployment of the patches and/or mitigations described above (or
others which are substantially similar) is permitted during the
embargo, even on public-facing systems with untrusted guest users and
administrators.

But: Distribution of updated software is prohibited (except to other
members of the predisclosure list).

Predisclosure list members who wish to deploy significantly different
patches and/or mitigations, please contact the Xen Project Security
Team.

(Note: this during-embargo deployment notice is retained in
post-embargo publicly released Xen Project advisories, even though it
is then no longer applicable.  This is to enable the community to have
oversight of the Xen Project Security Team's decisionmaking.)

For more information about permissible uses of embargoed information,
consult the Xen Project community's agreed Security Policy:
  http://www.xenproject.org/security-policy.html
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Download attachment "xsa250.meta" of type "application/octet-stream" (2276 bytes)

Download attachment "xsa250.patch" of type "application/octet-stream" (2277 bytes)

Download attachment "xsa250-4.5.patch" of type "application/octet-stream" (2304 bytes)

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