Today Xen posted a security advisory regarding out of bounds memory access and QEMU for emulated Cirrus logic video cards. This was originally disclosed publicly on the oss-sec mailing list, meaning there was no embargo period for this advisory. We saw this when it was originally posted to oss-sec. This advisory does not lead to a privilege escalation for us. has both paravirtualized (PV) and hardware virtual machine (HVM) virtual machines. Only HVM uses QEMU. When we run QEMU, it is running within a device model stubdomain. A device model stubdomain is another virtual machine running at the same level of privilege as its associated guest.

Another way to avoid this vulnerability is to not provide an emulated VGA card. Xen has a “nographic” option but this is only suppresses the output and does not suppress the card itself. We could be using “vga=none”, and will experiment with this option to mitigate future video driver vulnerabilities.