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Title:       OpenStack Vulnerable Configuration problem [EGI-SVG-2017-1280]  

Date:        2017-04-07
Updated:     2017-06-01  Changed to 'WHITE'

Affected software and risk

Vulnerable Configuration problem concerning OpenStack

Package :OpenStack 
Bug ID  :

Unprivileged access to VMs running in Openstack via unprotected VNC connection

Actions required/recommended

Sites running OpenStack should urgently check if the management interfaces of the compute nodes are 
accessible from outside, and carry out mitigation if necessary. 

Check all connections to compute nodes via ports 59xx

More information

Openstack does not provide any protection of VNC servers running on compute nodes. Any client that has access 
to management network can connect to the consoles of VMs running on compute node and obtains full access to VMs 
via the console (e.g. by rebooting VMs to single-user mode).

Openstack versions: vulnerability depends on network configuration of the installation, not the software itself.

Vulnerable configuration: compute nodes have management interfaces accessible from clients outside of the management 
network and do not have firewalls

Safe configuration: management network is private or protected by firewalls

Openstack documentation emphasizes the separation of management network from other networks (VM, data) and most of 
examples in the documentation have management networks private, so the network configuration in the examples are safe. 
However, it is not explicitly required in a visible way that the management networks must be protected (private networks, firewalls). 
If the management interface of the compute node has a public IP address and is not protected by firewalls, 
the system is in high risk because attackers can be from anywhere in the world.

Exploitation of this vulnerability is extremely easy, it requires very little effort and knowledge. 
If the management IP address of the compute node is accessible, simply use any VNC client to connect to the 
IP address via port 59xx to get to the console of VMs running on the compute node, reboot them to single-user 
mode and have root access to the VMs.

By exploiting this vulnerability, attackers can get access only to VMs running on compute nodes, not the host 
operating system on compute node or Openstack installation.

This has already resulted in an incident in EGI. 


Ensure that the management network is private or protected by firewalls

Component installation information



** 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 1]  


[R 1]


This vulnerability was reported by Viet Tran, who also provided most of the details for this alert. 

Yyyy-mm-dd  [EGI-SVG-2017-12680] 

2017-04-07 Vulnerability reported by Viet Tran
2017-04-07 Acknowledgement from the EGI SVG to the reporter
2017-04-07 Advisory/Alert sent to sites
2017-06-01 Changed to 'White' and placed on wiki. 


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 1]  
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,

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