Published: 30 November 2020

containerd is an industry-standard container runtime and is available as a daemon for Linux and Windows. In containerd before versions 1.3.9 and 1.4.3, the containerd-shim API is improperly exposed to host network containers. Access controls for the shim’s API socket verified that the connecting process had an effective UID of 0, but did not otherwise restrict access to the abstract Unix domain socket. This would allow malicious containers running in the same network namespace as the shim, with an effective UID of 0 but otherwise reduced privileges, to cause new processes to be run with elevated privileges. This vulnerability has been fixed in containerd 1.3.9 and 1.4.3. Users should update to these versions as soon as they are released. It should be noted that containers started with an old version of containerd-shim should be stopped and restarted, as running containers will continue to be vulnerable even after an upgrade. If you are not providing the ability for untrusted users to start containers in the same network namespace as the shim (typically the "host" network namespace, for example with docker run --net=host or hostNetwork: true in a Kubernetes pod) and run with an effective UID of 0, you are not vulnerable to this issue. If you are running containers with a vulnerable configuration, you can deny access to all abstract sockets with AppArmor by adding a line similar to deny unix addr=@**, to your policy. It is best practice to run containers with a reduced set of privileges, with a non-zero UID, and with isolated namespaces. The containerd maintainers strongly advise against sharing namespaces with the host. Reducing the set of isolation mechanisms used for a container necessarily increases that container's privilege, regardless of what container runtime is used for running that container.



CVSS 3 base score: 5.2


Package Release Status
Launchpad, Ubuntu, Debian
Upstream Pending
(1.3.9, 1.4.3)
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa)
Released (1.3.3-0ubuntu2.2)
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver)
Released (1.3.3-0ubuntu1~18.04.4)
Ubuntu 16.04 ESM (Xenial Xerus)
Released (1.2.6-0ubuntu1~16.04.6)
Ubuntu 14.04 ESM (Trusty Tahr) Does not exist


Containers started with an old version of containerd-shim should be
stopped and restarted.
Patches are in Message-ID: <
Updates released in USN-4653-1 were pulled from the archive due
to being stopped because of packaging issues.
Reverting this CVE to "needed" until new updates are released.

The cause of the regression is being investigated, and new
updates to correct this CVE will be issued shortly.