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VMware shipped public key with its Photon OS-for-containers

Add another item to Virtzilla's list of unfortunate mistakes

VMware has revealed an embarrassing mistake: the virtual machines it made available for its Photon OS container runtime included a default public ssh key.

“A public ssh key used in the Photon OS build environment was inadvertently left in the original Photon OS 1.0 OVAs,” says VMware's emailed advisory. “This issue would have allowed anyone with the corresponding private key to access any Photon OS system built from the original 1.0 OVAs.”

“All instances of the corresponding private key have been deleted within VMware.”

VMware's made new Photon OS OVA files available for download and recommends users download them ASAP and replace all older instances of the OS.

VMware can do without this incident, if only because it's now making mistakes quite regularly. Just last week it had to withdraw a minor release of NSX because it was too buggy to use. In recent years it's messed up sizing for VSAN and its EVO:RAIL appliance.

Security incidents are becoming common, too: Virtzilla's had problems with vRealize and vCenter in the last two weeks alone.

This problem could be more serious still: analyst firm Gartner rates VMware as the market leader for x86 virtualisation but warns it is struggling to excite developers about its cloud-native applications stack.

Photon OS is a critical part of VMware's cloud-native efforts as it offers a lightweight runtime in which to run containers. With version 1.0 containing a significant error, developer enthusiasm is unlikely to surge in a hurry. ®


VMware does also have some good news: a staffer from the office of the CTO has popped out this Tweet, which is surely a nice endorsement of the company's capabilities.

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