RHEL 5 : kvm (RHSA-2010:0998)

Low Nessus Plugin ID 63966


The remote Red Hat host is missing one or more security updates.


Updated kvm packages that fix one security issue and three bugs are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

The Red Hat Security Response Team has rated this update as having low security impact. A Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) base score, which gives a detailed severity rating, is available from the CVE link in the References section.

KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on AMD64 and Intel 64 systems. KVM is a Linux kernel module built for the standard Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernel.

It was found that some structure padding and reserved fields in certain data structures in QEMU-KVM were not initialized properly before being copied to user-space. A privileged host user with access to '/dev/kvm' could use this flaw to leak kernel stack memory to user-space. (CVE-2010-3881)

Red Hat would like to thank Vasiliy Kulikov for reporting this issue.

This update also fixes the following bugs :

* The 'kvm_amd' kernel module did not initialize the TSC (Time Stamp Counter) offset in the VMCB (Virtual Machine Control Block) correctly.
After a vCPU (virtual CPU) has been created, the TSC offset in the VMCB should have a negative value so that the virtual machine will see TSC values starting at zero. However, the TSC offset was set to zero and therefore the virtual machine saw the same TSC value as the host.
With this update, the TSC offset has been updated to show the correct values. (BZ#656984)

* Setting the boot settings of a virtual machine to, firstly, boot from PXE and, secondly, to boot from the hard drive would result in a PXE boot loop, that is, the virtual machine would not continue to boot from the hard drive if the PXE boot failed. This was caused by a flaw in the 'bochs-bios' (part of KVM) code. With this update, after a virtual machine tries to boot from PXE and fails, it continues to boot from a hard drive if there is one present. (BZ#659850)

* If a 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 virtual machine was migrated to another host with a different CPU clock speed, the clock of that virtual machine would consistently lose or gain time (approximately half a second for every second the host is running). On machines that do not use the kvm clock, the network time protocol daemon (ntpd) could correct the time drifts caused by migration.
However, using the pvclock caused the time to change consistently.
This was due to flaws in the save/load functions of pvclock. With this update, the issue has been fixed and migrating a virtual machine no longer causes time drift. (BZ#660239)

All KVM users should upgrade to these updated packages, which contain backported patches to correct these issues. Note: The procedure in the Solution section must be performed before this update will take effect.


Update the affected packages.

See Also



Plugin Details

Severity: Low

ID: 63966

File Name: redhat-RHSA-2010-0998.nasl

Version: $Revision: 1.9 $

Type: local

Agent: unix

Published: 2013/01/24

Modified: 2017/01/04

Dependencies: 12634

Risk Information

Risk Factor: Low


Base Score: 1.9

Temporal Score: 1.7

Vector: CVSS2#AV:L/AC:M/Au:N/C:P/I:N/A:N

Temporal Vector: CVSS2#E:ND/RL:OF/RC:C

Vulnerability Information

CPE: p-cpe:/a:redhat:enterprise_linux:kmod-kvm, p-cpe:/a:redhat:enterprise_linux:kvm, p-cpe:/a:redhat:enterprise_linux:kvm-qemu-img, p-cpe:/a:redhat:enterprise_linux:kvm-tools, cpe:/o:redhat:enterprise_linux:5

Required KB Items: Host/local_checks_enabled, Host/RedHat/release, Host/RedHat/rpm-list, Host/cpu

Exploit Available: true

Exploit Ease: Exploits are available

Patch Publication Date: 2010/12/20

Reference Information

CVE: CVE-2010-3881

BID: 44666

OSVDB: 69003

RHSA: 2010:0998