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October 4, 2005
Symantec Antivirus Scan Engine: Web Service Administrative Interface Buffer Overflow

Revision History
10/5/2005 – updated Symantec Scan Engine-based product names to reflect current branding.

Risk Impact

Remote AccessYes
Local AccessNo
Authentication RequiredNo
Exploit publicly availableNo

The remote exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in the web-based Administrative Interface of the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine product could potentially allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on a targeted system.

Affected Product(s)

Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine4.0AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine4.3AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Microsoft ISA Server 20004.0AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Microsoft ISA Server 20004.3AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Netapp Filer4.0AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Messaging4.3AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Netapp NetCache4.0AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Network Attached Storage4.3AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Bluecoat4.0AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Caching4.3AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Microsoft SharePoint4.3AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Clearswift4.0AllSAVSE 4.3.12
Symantec AntiVirus for Clearswift4.3AllSAVSE 4.3.12

Non-Affected Product(s)

Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine4.1All

iDEFENSE Labs notified Symantec of a buffer overflow vulnerability in the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine that could potentially allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code. The Symantec Scan Engine is a TCP/IP server and programming interface that enables third parties to incorporate support for Symantec content scanning technologies into their proprietary applications. The vulnerability exists in the Administrative interface to the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine. The vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of user input in HTTP requests passed to the Scan Engine Web Service. If a remote attacker were able to access an exposed administrative port, they could supply a maliciously crafted HTTP request that could potentially result in the execution of arbitrary code and unauthorized privileged access to the targeted system.

Symantec Response
Symantec Engineers have verified this issue and made security updates available for the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine. Symantec strongly recommends all customers immediately apply the latest updates for their supported product versions to protect against these types of threats. Symantec is unaware of any adverse customer impact from this issue

Upgrade Information
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine updates are available through the Platinum Support Web Site for Platinum customers or through the FileConnect -Electronic Software Distribution web site for all licensed users.

Default installation instructions state that, for security reasons, customers should access the administrative interface using a switch or via a secure segment of the network. The Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine Administration default port, 8004/tcp, should be locked down for trusted internal access only. This port can be changed, as it might conflict with existing applications in the environment. But whatever port is used for the user-interface, it should never be visible external to the network which greatly reduces opportunities for unauthorized access.

A customer may choose to completely disable the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine’s user-interface once it has been satisfactorily configured.

  • To disable the user interface, set the port to "0" in the user-interface and restart the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine.
  • To re-enable the user-interface, edit the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine configuration file, set the port back to 8004/tcp, or the applicable user-configured port, and restart the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine.
Symantec Security Response has created IPS/IDS signatures to detect and prevent attempts to exploit this issue.

Symantec ManHunt 3.0 signatures are available for update from the Symantec Security Response Update Center at:

Symantec Network Security Appliance 7100 signatures are available for update from the Symantec Security Response Update Center at:

Symantec Gateway Security 2.0 signatures are available for update from the Symantec Security Response Update Center at:

Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for signs of anomalous or suspicious activity. This may aid in detection of attacks or malicious activity related to exploitation of latent vulnerabilities.

As a part of normal best practices, users should keep vendor-supplied patches for all application software and operating systems up-to-date.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) initiative has assigned CVE Candidate CVE-2005-2758 to this issue.
This issue is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems.

Symantec would like to thank iDEFENSE labs, for reporting this issue and for providing coordination while Symantec resolved the issues.

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.

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Initial Post on: Tuesday, 04-Oct-05 14:15:00
Last modified on: Monday, 27-Mar-2006 18:53:03 PST