Exploit developer discovers security vulnerability in VirtualBox and publishes a full guide to exploiting it

VirtualBox logo

A security researcher has not only discovered a vulnerability in the virtualization tool VirtualBox, but has released details of the exploit and a step-by-step guide to the zero-day vulnerability.

Russian exploit developer Sergey Zelenyuk found a way to break out of VirtualBox's virtual environment and he chose to go public with the vulnerability because of his displeasure at the "contemporary state of infosec, especially of security research and bug bounty". Having told Oracle about the problem, he also tired of the "delusion of grandeur and marketing bullshit" he experienced in the infosec community.

Zelenyuk has published full details of the exploit on GitHub, and says that the vulnerability affects VirtualBox 5.2.20 and earlier. The only requirements to take advantage of the vulnerability are that the network card is an Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM), and that VirtualBox is set to NAT mode.

He provides a detailed write-up of the vulnerability, and also shares a video showing off the exploit which is described as "100 percent reliable":

VirtualBox E1000 Guest-to-Host Escape from Sergey Zelenyuk on Vimeo.

While the exploit is not simple to execute, full details of how to do so are provided.

One of the reasons for going public with this particular exploit is Zelenyuk's unhappiness with Oracle. He discovered and reported another VirtualBox vulnerability more than a year ago, but was not pleased to discover that when the problem was eventually fixed, he was not credited with finding it.

You can read the full, and very detailed, write-up over on GitHub.

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