ID CVE-2009-3733
Summary Directory traversal vulnerability in VMware Server 1.x before 1.0.10 build 203137 and 2.x before 2.0.2 build 203138 on Linux, VMware ESXi 3.5, and VMware ESX 3.0.3 and 3.5 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via unspecified vectors.
Vulnerable Configurations
  • cpe:2.3:a:vmware:esx:3.0.3
  • cpe:2.3:a:vmware:esx:3.5
  • cpe:2.3:a:vmware:esxi:3.5
  • VMWare VMware Server 1.0
  • VMWare Server 1.0.1
  • VMWare VMware Server
  • VMWare Server 1.0.2
  • VMWare Server 1.0.3
  • VMWare Server 1.0.4
  • VMWare VMware Server
  • VMWare Server 1.0.5
  • VMWare Server 1.0.6
  • VMWare Server 1.0.7
  • VMWare Server 1.0.8
  • VMWare Server 1.0.9
  • VMware Server 2.0.0
  • VMware Server 2.0.1
  • cpe:2.3:o:linux:linux
Base: 5.0 (as of 03-11-2009 - 10:35)
  • Relative Path Traversal
    An attacker exploits a weakness in input validation on the target by supplying a specially constructed path utilizing dot and slash characters for the purpose of obtaining access to arbitrary files or resources. An attacker modifies a known path on the target in order to reach material that is not available through intended channels. These attacks normally involve adding additional path separators (/ or \) and/or dots (.), or encodings thereof, in various combinations in order to reach parent directories or entirely separate trees of the target's directory structure.
  • Directory Traversal
    An attacker with access to file system resources, either directly or via application logic, will use various file path specification or navigation mechanisms such as ".." in path strings and absolute paths to extend their range of access to inappropriate areas of the file system. The attacker attempts to either explore the file system for recon purposes or access directories and files that are intended to be restricted from their access. Exploring the file system can be achieved through constructing paths presented to directory listing programs, such as "ls" and 'dir', or through specially crafted programs that attempt to explore the file system. The attacker engaging in this type of activity is searching for information that can be used later in a more exploitive attack. Access to restricted directories or files can be achieved through modification of path references utilized by system applications.
  • File System Function Injection, Content Based
    An attack of this type exploits the host's trust in executing remote content including binary files. The files are poisoned with a malicious payload (targeting the file systems accessible by the target software) by the attacker and may be passed through standard channels such as via email, and standard web content like PDF and multimedia files. The attacker exploits known vulnerabilities or handling routines in the target processes. Vulnerabilities of this type have been found in a wide variety of commercial applications from Microsoft Office to Adobe Acrobat and Apple Safari web browser. When the attacker knows the standard handling routines and can identify vulnerabilities and entry points they can be exploited by otherwise seemingly normal content. Once the attack is executed, the attackers' program can access relative directories such as C:\Program Files or other standard system directories to launch further attacks. In a worst case scenario, these programs are combined with other propagation logic and work as a virus.
  • Using Slashes and URL Encoding Combined to Bypass Validation Logic
    This attack targets the encoding of the URL combined with the encoding of the slash characters. An attacker can take advantage of the multiple way of encoding an URL and abuse the interpretation of the URL. An URL may contain special character that need special syntax handling in order to be interpreted. Special characters are represented using a percentage character followed by two digits representing the octet code of the original character (%HEX-CODE). For instance US-ASCII space character would be represented with %20. This is often referred as escaped ending or percent-encoding. Since the server decodes the URL from the requests, it may restrict the access to some URL paths by validating and filtering out the URL requests it received. An attacker will try to craft an URL with a sequence of special characters which once interpreted by the server will be equivalent to a forbidden URL. It can be difficult to protect against this attack since the URL can contain other format of encoding such as UTF-8 encoding, Unicode-encoding, etc.
  • Manipulating Input to File System Calls
    An attacker manipulates inputs to the target software which the target software passes to file system calls in the OS. The goal is to gain access to, and perhaps modify, areas of the file system that the target software did not intend to be accessible.
  • Using Escaped Slashes in Alternate Encoding
    This attack targets the use of the backslash in alternate encoding. An attacker can provide a backslash as a leading character and causes a parser to believe that the next character is special. This is called an escape. By using that trick, the attacker tries to exploit alternate ways to encode the same character which leads to filter problems and opens avenues to attack.
  • Using Slashes in Alternate Encoding
    This attack targets the encoding of the Slash characters. An attacker would try to exploit common filtering problems related to the use of the slashes characters to gain access to resources on the target host. Directory-driven systems, such as file systems and databases, typically use the slash character to indicate traversal between directories or other container components. For murky historical reasons, PCs (and, as a result, Microsoft OSs) choose to use a backslash, whereas the UNIX world typically makes use of the forward slash. The schizophrenic result is that many MS-based systems are required to understand both forms of the slash. This gives the attacker many opportunities to discover and abuse a number of common filtering problems. The goal of this pattern is to discover server software that only applies filters to one version, but not the other.
d2sec via4
name Vmware Server File Disclosure
exploit-db via4
description VMware Server 2.0.1,ESXi Server 3.5 Directory Traversal Vulnerability. CVE-2009-3733. Remote exploits for multiple platform
id EDB-ID:33310
last seen 2016-02-03
modified 2009-10-27
published 2009-10-27
reporter Justin Morehouse
title VMware Server <= 2.0.1,ESXi Server <= 3.5 - Directory Traversal Vulnerability
metasploit via4
description This modules exploits the VMware Server Directory Traversal vulnerability in VMware Server 1.x before 1.0.10 build 203137 and 2.x before 2.0.2 build 203138 on Linux, VMware ESXi 3.5, and VMware ESX 3.0.3 and 3.5 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files. Common VMware server ports 80/8222 and 443/8333 SSL. If you want to download the entire VM, check out the gueststealer tool.
last seen 2019-03-28
modified 2017-07-24
published 2015-06-08
reliability Normal
reporter Rapid7
title VMware Server Directory Traversal Vulnerability
nessus via4
  • NASL family Gentoo Local Security Checks
    NASL id GENTOO_GLSA-201209-25.NASL
    description The remote host is affected by the vulnerability described in GLSA-201209-25 (VMware Player, Server, Workstation: Multiple vulnerabilities) Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in VMware Player, Server, and Workstation. Please review the CVE identifiers referenced below for details. Impact : Local users may be able to gain escalated privileges, cause a Denial of Service, or gain sensitive information. A remote attacker could entice a user to open a specially crafted file, possibly resulting in the remote execution of arbitrary code, or a Denial of Service. Remote attackers also may be able to spoof DNS traffic, read arbitrary files, or inject arbitrary web script to the VMware Server Console. Furthermore, guest OS users may be able to execute arbitrary code on the host OS, gain escalated privileges on the guest OS, or cause a Denial of Service (crash the host OS). Workaround : There is no known workaround at this time.
    last seen 2019-02-21
    modified 2019-02-07
    plugin id 62383
    published 2012-10-01
    reporter Tenable
    title GLSA-201209-25 : VMware Player, Server, Workstation: Multiple vulnerabilities
  • NASL family CGI abuses
    description The version of VMware Host Agent (hostd) running on the remote host has a directory traversal vulnerability. The affected service runs as root. VMware ESX, VMware ESXi, and VMware Server on Linux are affected. A remote attacker could exploit this to read arbitrary files, including guest VMs, from the system.
    last seen 2019-02-21
    modified 2018-11-15
    plugin id 44646
    published 2010-02-17
    reporter Tenable
    title VMware Host Agent Directory Traversal (VMSA-2009-0015)
  • NASL family VMware ESX Local Security Checks
    NASL id VMWARE_VMSA-2009-0015.NASL
    description a. Mishandled exception on page faults An improper setting of the exception code on page faults may allow for local privilege escalation on the guest operating system. This vulnerability does not affect the host system. VMware would like to thank Tavis Ormandy and Julien Tinnes of the Google Security Team for reporting this issue to us. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ( has assigned the name CVE-2009-2267 to this issue. b. Directory Traversal vulnerability A directory traversal vulnerability allows for remote retrieval of any file from the host system. In order to send a malicious request, the attacker will need to have access to the network on which the host resides. VMware would like to thank Justin Morehouse and Jason Kratzer for independently reporting this issue to us. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project ( has assigned the name CVE-2009-3733 to this issue.
    last seen 2019-02-21
    modified 2019-02-07
    plugin id 42289
    published 2009-10-28
    reporter Tenable
    title VMSA-2009-0015 : VMware hosted products and ESX patches resolve two security issues
oval via4
accepted 2010-06-07T04:00:52.103-04:00
class vulnerability
name Pai Peng
organization Hewlett-Packard
  • comment VMWare ESX Server 3.0.3 is installed
    oval oval:org.mitre.oval:def:6026
  • comment VMware ESX Server 3.5.0 is installed
    oval oval:org.mitre.oval:def:5887
description Directory traversal vulnerability in VMware Server 1.x before 1.0.10 build 203137 and 2.x before 2.0.2 build 203138 on Linux, VMware ESXi 3.5, and VMware ESX 3.0.3 and 3.5 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via unspecified vectors.
family unix
id oval:org.mitre.oval:def:7822
status accepted
submitted 2010-03-22T13:01:12.000-04:00
title VMware directory traversal vulnerability
version 5
refmap via4
bid 36842
bugtraq 20091027 VMSA-2009-0015 VMware hosted products and ESX patches resolve two security issues
gentoo GLSA-201209-25
mlist [security-announce] 20091027 VMSA-2009-0015 VMware hosted products and ESX patches resolve two security issues
  • 1023088
  • 1023089
secunia 37186
vupen ADV-2009-3062
Last major update 14-05-2013 - 23:01
Published 02-11-2009 - 10:30
Last modified 10-10-2018 - 15:47
Back to Top