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VMware ESX Server management interface logs passwords in cleartext in a world-readable file

Vulnerability Note VU#822476

Original Release Date: 2006-08-24 | Last Revised: 2006-08-29


Certain versions of VMware ESX Server store passwords in a cleartext file that all users have read permissions to.


Per the VMware ESX Server datasheet:

ESX Server installs directly on the server hardware, or “bare metal,” and inserts a robust virtualization layer between the hardware and the operating system. ESX Server partitions a physical server into multiple secure and portable virtual machines that can run side by side on the same physical server.

VMware ESX server includes a web interface that can be used for remote management. On affected versions, when a user changes their password, the new credentials are recorded in the server logs as plain text files in directories that all users can read.

The affected versions of VMware ESX server are:

    • VMware ESX prior to 2.5.3 upgrade patch 2
    • VMware ESX prior to 2.1.3 upgrade patch 1
    • VMware ESX prior to 2.0.2 upgrade patch 1


Local users can read the passwords of any user who changed their password through the web interface.


UpgradeVMware has issued upgrades that address this issue. Refer to VMware ESX Server 2.5.3 Upgrade Patch 2, VMware ESX Server 2.1.3 Upgrade Patch 1, or VMware ESX Server 2.0.2 Upgrade Patch 1 for more details.

Vendor Information


VMware Affected

Updated:  August 24, 2006



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


See VMware Security Advisory VMSA-2006-0004 for more details.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

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Thanks to Corsaire for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Ryan Giobbi.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2005-3620
Severity Metric: 0.31
Date Public: 2006-07-31
Date First Published: 2006-08-24
Date Last Updated: 2006-08-29 13:49 UTC
Document Revision: 38

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