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---===[ Qubes Security Bulletin #4 ]===---
September 28, 2012
Problem description
Due to a silly mistake made by the Qubes Team, the IPv6 filtering rules
have been set to ALLOW by default in all Service VMs, which results in
lack of filtering for IPv6 traffic originating between NetVM and the
corresponding FirewallVM, as well as between AppVMs and the
corresponding FirewallVM. Because the RPC services (rpcbind and
rpc.statd) are, by default, bound also to the IPv6 interfaces in all the
VMs by default, this opens up an avenue to attack a FirewallVM from a
corresponding NetVM or AppVM, and further attack another AppVM from the
compromised FirewallVM, using a hypothetical vulnerability in the above
mentioned RPC services (chained attack). In the end, it thus might be
possible to attack an AppVM from the NetVM, or one AppVM from another
AppVM (if both use the same firewallvm/netvm). Also, if the NetVM is
connected to the IPv6-enabled network, it might be possible to attack
the NetVM remotely, and further conduct the NetVM->FirewallVM->AppVM attack.
Another way of looking at this problem is to state that as a result of
this security policy misconfiguration, the Qubes TCB [1] has become
unwillingly extended to also include the mentioned above RPC services,
which it normally should not, of course.
The Qubes Team is not aware of a vulnerability that could be used to
exploit this problem in practice. Nevertheless, patching is strongly
advised, in order to revert the TCB back to its desired shape.
We have uploaded new core VM packages (qubes-core-vm-* version 1.7.46)
that fix this problem [2].
In order to update your system, you should install those packages in the
TemplateVM that is used by your Services VMs (typically there is only
one Template VM, on which all other VMs are based). The preferred way
for doing this is via the Qubes Manager application (select the Template
VM and click the Update button). A shutdown of the Template VM, and then
at least of all the service VMs will be required for the changes to take
Additionally we have uploaded also new core package for Dom0 that also
adds DROP rules to IP6 filter, which, however could only be useful if
one manually connected networking to Dom0 via
qubes-dom0-network-via-netvm command -- typically this is only used for
debugging or testing purposes, and is never needed for normal operation
of the system.
The new uploaded packages also contain some other, security-unrelated
minor fixes.
The Qubes Team would like to thank:
Alexandre Bezroutchko <>
...for discovering the issue and discussing it with us.