[vbox-dev] VirtualBox DMA Security?

Sander van Leeuwen sander.x.van.leeuwen at oracle.com
Fri Dec 10 04:13:17 PST 2010

Without reading the article:
- virtual devices can't write to hypervisor memory as there is no guest 
physical backing for those pages (software virt. only; there is no 
hypervisor mapping for VT-x/AMD-V)
- if they mean host device passthru: we don't support that

On 12/10/2010 12:54 PM, Josh x90 wrote:
> Hello all,
> I have an interest in virtualisation security and I've been reading into the potential DMA access security issues in virtualisation.
> According to one presentation:
> (http://www.research.ibm.com/haifa/conferences/systor2010/present/2_2_3_presentation.pdf)
> "- Untrusted guest programs a device, without any supervision.
>   - Device is DMA capable (all modern devices are).
>        - Which means the guest can program the device to
>          overwrite any memory location.
>   - Including where the hypervisor lives . . . game over."
> How does DMA access work in VirtualBox? I've been unable to find any information on this.
> Is VirtualBox vulnerable to this kind of attack?
> All thoughts and links to relevant information are appreciated!
> Cheers,
> Josh
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> vbox-dev at virtualbox.org
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Kind regards / Mit freundlichen Gruessen / Met vriendelijke groet

Sander van Leeuwen | Senior Staff Engineer, VirtualBox
Oracle Virtualization

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