- May 25, 2015
- Suggested Reading
What is Venom?
Venom (Virtualized Environment Neglected Operations Manipulation) is a security vulnerability that affects computer virtualization platforms.
A virtualization platform refers to software packages that emulate a physical machine, often providing the option to host multiple virtual machines on one physical platform. The cause of this vulnerability was a bug discovered in the open-source virtualization package QEMU, affecting its Virtual Floppy Disk Controller (FDC), that is re-used in many modern virtualization platforms and appliances.
In theory, this vulnerability may allow an attacker to escape from the confines of an affected virtual machine (VM) guest and potentially obtain code-execution access to the host and/or other guest machines.
What did the press say?
The Venom vulnerability (CVE-2015-3456) was discovered by Jason Geffner, a Senior Security Researcher at CrowdStrike:
Many initial reports compared Venom to Heartbleed, some even suggested that the vulnerability is “Bigger than Heartbleed…”:
However, as the days went by, the media seem to have made a U-turn and are leaning more and more towards a “be careful but don’t panic” attitude:
Also, now that fixes have been released, the impact of the vulnerability minimized through the industry’s patching practices:
The following article gives a clear overview of the Venom vulnerability and is definitely worth a read:
About “Suggested Reading” from ENISA
With the “Suggested Reading” series ENISA aims at giving the interested reader guidance on controversial and inscrutable NIS related discussions that are carried out in Media, by suggesting selected pre-reviewed articles that in our view explain the issue at hand and related circumstances in a reasonable and understandable manner. This view is derived from past experiences and common sense; in no way should “Suggested Reading” be understood as recommended course of action in a specific incident or investigation, or being a final conclusion. Feel free to get in touch with ENISA to discuss or inquire more information to the “Suggested Reading” series (firstname.lastname@example.org).