Libvirt Security Notice: LSN-2015-0002

small memory leak in ListAll APIs


Reported on: 20150313
Published on: 20150316
Fixed on: 20150316


Reported by: Eric Blake
Patched by: Eric Blake


The interfaces remoteDispatchConnectListAllDomains, remoteDispatchDomainListAllSnapshots, remoteDispatchDomainSnapshotListAllChildren, remoteDispatchConnectListAllStoragePools, remoteDispatchStoragePoolListAllVolumes, remoteDispatchConnectListAllNetworks, remoteDispatchConnectListAllInterfaces, remoteDispatchConnectListAllNodeDevices, remoteDispatchConnectListAllNWFilters, remoteDispatchConnectListAllSecrets, and remoteDispatchNetworkGetDHCPLeases each have a guarantee that on a successful return, an array with a trailing NULL slot will be allocated, with the array size at least one larger than the return value. However, when using a remote connection where any of these calls returned a result of 0, the allocated array was leaked in the libvirtd server side of the API call.


Since each ListAll API call is accessible to read-only clients, a client could repeatedly call the APIs to leak memory and attempt turning it into an out-of-memory denial of service against more privileged clients. In practice, though, since the leak is typically only 8 bytes per API call, an out-of-memory condition is unlikely to occur unless the client is calling the API so frequently as to be obvious that the client is attempting a denial of service long before memory is exhausted, so this vulnerability was not assigned a CVE.


It is possible to guarantee that a memory leak cannot be escalated into a denial of service attack by preventing read-only connections and avoiding the use of fine-grained Access Control Lists (although this does not prevent the leaks, such a problem is no longer a security attack). Meanwhile, monitoring the libvirtd process for unexpected memory usage can be used to detect if any client is intentionally trying to exploit a memory leak, where restarting libvirtd is effective at avoiding issues where an eventual out-of-memory condition would cause adverse behavior.

Affected product: libvirt

Branch master
Broken in: v1.2.8
Broken in: v1.2.9
Broken in: v1.2.10
Broken in: v1.2.11
Broken in: v1.2.12
Broken in: v1.2.13
Fixed in: v1.2.14
Broken by: 4f25146bf4335cb2b1b31c07dab39e26458bdf61
Fixed by: 3c2ff5029b83c9b33be0f1607a3c61f4f5850612
Branch v1.2.8-maint
Broken by: 4f25146bf4335cb2b1b31c07dab39e26458bdf61
Fixed by: 4fc4f669eb6a1d776b917d410b6db46e09b6feed
Branch v1.2.9-maint
Broken in: v1.2.9.1
Broken in: v1.2.9.2
Fixed in: v1.2.9.3
Broken by: 4f25146bf4335cb2b1b31c07dab39e26458bdf61
Fixed by: b9dacdd4d992ba1e5aab2e0189cf64b36a1a7e13
Branch v1.2.10-maint
Broken by: 4f25146bf4335cb2b1b31c07dab39e26458bdf61
Fixed by: 70461a11b3410053b89c8c9309e011ce4f62bc07
Branch v1.2.11-maint
Broken by: 4f25146bf4335cb2b1b31c07dab39e26458bdf61
Fixed by: b175298be8e92eb3d7883fa3927b97db04d449be
Branch v1.2.12-maint
Broken by: 4f25146bf4335cb2b1b31c07dab39e26458bdf61
Fixed by: 34538870c770515fc38fa3c71f39e8765113316d
Branch v1.2.13-maint
Fixed in: v1.2.13.1
Broken by: 4f25146bf4335cb2b1b31c07dab39e26458bdf61
Fixed by: 117f60ca53eb36aa7751573ac274850bd96a4799

Alternative formats: [xml] [text]