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Title:       EGI SVG 'ADVISORY' [TLP:WHITE] 'CRITICAL' risk runc malicious container escape 
             affecting Docker, Kubernetes. Similar vulnerability in lxc [EGI-SVG-CVE-2019-5736]  

Date:        2019-02-13

Affected software and risk

CRITICAL risk vulnerability concerning runc used in e.g. Docker, Kubernetes. Similar vulnerability in lxc

Package : runC/docker
CVE ID  : CVE-2019-5736

A flaw was found in the way runc handled system file descriptors when running containers. 
A malicious container could use this flaw to overwrite contents of the runc binary and 
consequently run arbitrary commands on the container host system. [R 1] [R 2] [R 3].  
This affects also Docker, Kubernetes.  lxc has a similar type of vulnerability. 
Not all sites will be vulnerable, see mitigation below.

Actions required/recommended

Sites running docker should update urgently, or ensure their site is mitigated as below. 

We note that this update is not yet fully included in the RedHat Enterprise distribution.

Component installation information

Sites installing docker directly from github may install the updated version [R 4] 

RedHat has produced an advisory and fixes,  [R 5], [R 6]  but it is not yet fully part 
of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 release [R 7]. Note that there are partial RH updates 
- a new version of docker-1.13 is available. [R 6]

Sites using Scientific Linux should see [R 8] (fix not available yet)

Sites using Debian should site [R 9] (fix not available yet)


From the Red Hat advisory: This vulnerability is mitigated by the use of SELinux in 
targeted enforcing mode, which completely prevents this vulnerability from being exploited. 
The default for SELinux on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is targeted enforcing mode.

Affected software details

runc through 1.0-rc6 as used in Docker before 18.09.2 [R 3], [R 4] 

More information

This advisory will be updated and a date will be set by which time all running resources 
MUST be either patched or have mitigation in place or software removed.  

Note that a proof of concept exploit has been released publicly [R 10]

Use in Docker and Kubernetes  [R 11]


** WHITE information - Unlimited distribution - 
   see for distribution restrictions***                       

Minor updates may be made without re-distribution to the sites


Comments or questions should be sent to svg-rat  at

If you find or become aware of another vulnerability which is relevant to EGI you may report it by e-mail to  

report-vulnerability at
the EGI Software Vulnerability Group will take a look according to the procedure defined in [R 12]  

Note that this is undergoing revision to fully handle vulnerabilities in the EOSC-hub era. 


[R 1]

[R 2] 

[R 3] 

[R 4]

[R 5]

[R 6]

[R 7]

[R 8] 

[R 9] 

[R 10]

[R 11]

[R 12]


SVG was alerted to this vulnerability by David Crooks 

Yyyy-mm-dd  [EGI-SVG-CVE-2019-5736 ] 

2019-02-11 SVG alerted to this issue by David Crooks
2019-02-11 Acknowledgement from the EGI SVG to the reporter
2019-02-11 Investigation of vulnerability and relevance to EGI carried out by SVG
2019-02-12 EGI SVG Risk Assessment completed
2019-02-12 Advisory drafted 
2019-02-13 Advisory sent to sites


This advisory has been prepared as part of the effort to fulfil EGI SVG's purpose 
"To minimize the risk to the EGI infrastructure arising from software vulnerabilities"

The risk is that assessed by the group, according to the EGI SVG issue handling procedure 
[R 12]  in the context of how the software is used in the EGI infrastructure. 
It is the opinion of the group, we do not guarantee it to be correct. 
The risk may also be higher or lower in other deployments depending on how the software is used.   

Others may re-use this information provided they:-

1) Respect the provided TLP classification

2) Credit the EGI Software Vulnerability Group

On behalf of the EGI SVG,