VMware informed customers on Friday that patches are available for a critical virtual machine (VM) escape vulnerability disclosed recently by a researcher at the GeekPwn2018 hacking competition.
Organized by the security team of Chinese company Keen Cloud Tech, GeekPwn is a hacking competition that in the past years has led to the discovery of many important vulnerabilities. The competition has been held in China since 2014, but starting with 2017 there has also been an event in the United States.
GeekPwn2018 took place in Shanghai, China, on October 24-25, and its initial prize pool was $800,000.
One of the most interesting entries in the contest came from a researcher at China-based security firm Chaitin Tech, who discovered a guest-to-host escape vulnerability affecting several VMware products. He also identified a less severe information disclosure bug.
Shortly after the VM escape exploit was demonstrated, Chaitin Tech wrote on Twitter that it was the first time anybody managed to escape VMware ESXi and get a root shell on the host system. The company posted a short video showing the exploit in action.