WelcomeEnterpriseSmall BusinessHome & Home OfficePartnersAbout Symantec
February 28, 2003
Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2002 Buffer Overflow Vulnerability


Symantec is aware of an issue with Symantec Norton AntiViurs 2002 where a compressed zip file attachment that possess an overly long filename is scanned. This may lead to the execution of arbitrary code in the security context of the user currently logged onto the target system. An update for Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2002 to address this issue is now available via LiveUpdate. Localized versions of the patch are being worked on.

Components Affected
Norton AntiVirus 2002

On December 26, 2002, Symantec became aware of an issue originally reported by the Security Net Services (SNS) security research group. By receiving a compressed zip file attachment with an excessively long file name, a buffer overflow can lead to arbitrary code in the security context of the user currently logged onto the target system.

Symantec Response
Symantec engineers have evaluated and verified that this issue exists for Symantec's Norton AntiVirus 2002. Newer versions such as of Norton AntiVirus 2003 are not affected by this issue.

Symantec takes any product issue such as this very seriously. We have developed an update for Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2002 to address this issue. The update is now available via LiveUpdate. Localized versions of the patch are being worked on.

As a best practice, Symantec recommends keeping all operating systems and applications updated with the latest vendor patches. Keeping mission-critical systems updated with all security patches applied reduces risk exposure. Symantec further recommends using a multi-layered approach to security. Users, at a minimum, should run both personal firewall and antivirus applications to provide multiple points of detection and protection to both inbound and outbound threats.

Users should further be wary of mysterious attachments and executables delivered via email. Do not open attachments or executables from unknown sources. Always err on the side of caution. Even if the sender is known, be wary of attachments if the sender does not explain the attachment content in the body of the email. You do not know the source of the attachment. If in doubt, contact the sender before opening the attachment. If still in doubt, delete the attachment without opening it.

Symantec appreciates the support of Little eArth Corporation Co., Ltd (LAC), Japan. For information about their SecureNet Service advisories, visit their Web site.

Symantec takes the security and proper functionality of our products very seriously. As founding members of the Organization for Internet Safety (OISafety), Symantec supports and follows the principles of responsible disclosure. Symantec also subscribes to the vulnerability disclosure guidelines outlined by the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC).

Please contact secure@symantec.com if you feel you have discovered a security issue in a Symantec product. A Symantec Product Security team member will contact you regarding your submission. Symantec strongly recommends using encrypted email for reporting vulnerability information to secure@symantec.com. The Symantec Product Security PGP key can be found at the end of this message.

Symantec has developed a Product Vulnerability Response document outlining the process we follow in addressing suspected vulnerabilities in our products. This document is available below.

PDF Symantec Vulnerability Response Policy PGP Symantec Product Vulnerability Management PGP Key

Copyright © by Symantec Corp.
Permission to redistribute this alert electronically is granted as long as it is not edited in any way unless authorized by Symantec Security Response. Reprinting the whole or part of this alert in any medium other than electronically requires permission from secure@symantec.com.

The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.

Symantec, Symantec products, Symantec Security Response, and secure@symantec.com are registered trademarks of Symantec Corp. and/or affiliated companies in the United States and other countries. All other registered and unregistered trademarks represented in this document are the sole property of their respective companies/owners.

Last modified on: Monday, 25-Oct-2004 15:06:32 PDT