USN-1177-1: QEMU vulnerability

27 July 2011

qemu-kvm vulnerability

A security issue affects these releases of Ubuntu and its derivatives:

  • Ubuntu 11.04
  • Ubuntu 10.10
  • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS


QEMU could be made to run with adminstrator group privileges under certain circumstances.

Software Description

  • qemu-kvm - Machine emulator and virtualizer


Andrew Griffiths discovered that QEMU did not correctly drop privileges when using the ‘runas’ argument. Under certain circumstances a local attacker could exploit this to escalate privileges.

Update instructions

The problem can be corrected by updating your system to the following package versions:

Ubuntu 11.04
qemu-kvm - 0.14.0+noroms-0ubuntu4.4
Ubuntu 10.10
qemu-kvm - 0.12.5+noroms-0ubuntu7.10
qemu-kvm-extras - 0.12.5+noroms-0ubuntu7.10
qemu-kvm-extras-static - 0.12.5+noroms-0ubuntu7.10
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
qemu-kvm - 0.12.3+noroms-0ubuntu9.15
qemu-kvm-extras - 0.12.3+noroms-0ubuntu9.15
qemu-kvm-extras-static - 0.12.3+noroms-0ubuntu9.15

To update your system, please follow these instructions:

In general, a standard system update will make all the necessary changes.