NewsSecurity Vulnerabilities

Multiple VMware Products vmxnet3 Virtual Network Adapter Arbitrary Code Execution Vulnerability [CVE-2018-6981 ]

CVE Number – CVE-2018-6981

A vulnerability in the vmxnet3 virtual network adapter used by multiple VMware products could allow a local attacker on a guest system to execute arbitrary code on the host system.

The vulnerability is due to the use of uninitialized stack memory in the vmxnet3 virtual network adapter of affected VMware products. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a request that submits malicious input to the targeted host system. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code on the host system. 

Proof-of-concept (PoC) code that demonstrates an exploit of this vulnerability is publicly available. 

VMware has confirmed the vulnerability and released software updates.


  • To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must have user-level access to a guest system where the vmxnet3 virtual network adapter has been enabled prior to attempting to execute arbitrary code on a targeted host system. This access requirement may reduce the likelihood of a successful exploit.


  • Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.

    Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to access local systems.

    Administrators are advised to allow only privileged users to access administration or management systems.

    Administrators are advised to monitor critical systems.

Vendor Announcements

  • VMware has released a security advisory at the following link: VMSA-2018-0027

Fixed Software


Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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