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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
missed flush in XSA-321 backport
19 February 2021
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Operating System: UNIX variants (UNIX, Linux, OSX)
Impact/Access: Increased Privileges -- Existing Account
Denial of Service -- Existing Account
Unauthorised Access -- Existing Account
Reduced Security -- Existing Account
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Xen Security Advisory XSA-366
missed flush in XSA-321 backport
An oversight was made when backporting XSA-320, leading entries in the
IOMMU not being properly updated under certain circumstances.
A malicious guest may be able to retain read/write DMA access to
frames returned to Xen's free pool, and later reused for another
purpose. Host crashes (leading to a Denial of Service) and privilege
escalation cannot be ruled out.
Xen versions up to 4.11, from at least 3.2 onwards, are affected. Xen
versions 4.12 and newer are not affected.
Only x86 Intel systems are affected. x86 AMD as well as Arm systems are
Only x86 HVM guests using hardware assisted paging (HAP), having a
passed through PCI device assigned, and having page table sharing
enabled can leverage the vulnerability. Note that page table
sharing will be enabled (by default) only if Xen considers IOMMU and
CPU large page size support compatible.
Suppressing the use of page table sharing will avoid the vulnerability
(command line option "iommu=no-sharept").
Suppressing the use of large HAP pages will avoid the vulnerability
(command line options "hap_2mb=no hap_1gb=no").
Not passing through PCI devices to HVM guests will avoid the
This issue was reported as a bug by M. Vefa Bicakci, and recognized as
a security issue by Roger Pau Monne of Citrix.
Applying the appropriate attached patch resolves this issue.
Note that patches for released versions are generally prepared to
apply to the stable branches, and may not apply cleanly to the most
recent release tarball. Downstreams are encouraged to update to the
tip of the stable branch before applying these patches.
xsa366-4.11.patch Xen 4.11.x
$ sha256sum xsa366*
NOTE REGARDING LACK OF EMBARGO
This was reported and debugged publicly, before the security
implications were apparent.
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