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November 8, 2005
VERITAS NetBackup 5.x: Buffer Overflow in Shared Library used by Volume Manager Daemon

Revision History
1/16/2006 - Exploit code for this issue is publicly available


Remote AccessYes
Local AccessNo
Authentication RequiredNo
Exploit publicly availableYes


A buffer overflow vulnerability exists in a shared library used by the VERITAS NetBackup volume manager daemon (vmd) running on VERITAS NetBackup 5.x servers and clients. Successful exploitation of this overflow condition could possibly allow a malicious attacker to create a denial of service disrupting backup systems or potentially allow execution of arbitrary code with elevated privileges on a targeted system.

Affected Product(s)

NetBackup Enterprise Server Server/Client5.0AllAllNB_50_5S2_M
NetBackup Enterprise Server Server/Client5.1AllAllNB_51_3AS2_M

Not Affected Product(s)

NetBackup DataCenter and BusinesServer4.5MP, FPAllAll
NetBackup Enterprise Server Server/Client6.0AllAll

iDefense Labs notified Symantec of a buffer overflow vulnerability in VERITAS NetBackup that could potentially allow a remote attacker to cause a denial of service or to execute arbitrary code. The vulnerability was initially found in the NetBackup vmd but further analysis revealed the problem occurs in a shared library used by vmd possibly impacting other daemons using that shared library also. The buffer overflow condition is due to improper bounds checking of user input. If a remote attacker were able to gain access to the affected library through one of the daemons and successfully exploit this vulnerability, they could potentially disrupt backup capabilities or possibly execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges on the targeted system.

Symantec Response
Symantec Engineers have verified this issue ONLY impacts NetBackup 5.x. Symantec has made security updates available for the supported VERITAS NetBackup 5.x products. Symantec strongly recommends all customers immediately apply the latest cumulative updates for their supported product versions to protect against these types of threats.

Symantec knows of no adverse customer impact from this issue.

The patches listed above for NetBackup 5.0 and 5.1 are available from the following location:

NOTE: In a recommended installation, VERITAS NetBackup should be restricted to trusted access only. The VERITAS NetBackup Server or clients should never be visible external to the network which greatly reduces opportunities for unauthorized remote access.

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

Symantec Client Security 2.0 and 3.0 signatures are available for update via LiveUpdate and from the Security Response Update Center at:

Customers using Symantec Client Security 2.0 and 3.0 should receive frequent signature updates if they run LiveUpdate regularly. If not, Symantec recommends customers manually run Symantec LiveUpdate to ensure they have the most current protection available.

As part of normal best practices, Symantec strongly recommends:

  • Restricting access to administration or management systems to privileged users.
  • Restricting remote access, if required, to trusted/authorized systems only.
  • Running under the principle of least privilege where possible to limit the impact of exploit by threats such as this.
  • Keeping all operating systems and applications updated with the latest vendor patches.
  • Following a multi-layered approach to security. Run both firewall and antivirus applications, at a minimum, to provide multiple points of detection and protection to both inbound and outbound threats.
  • Deploying 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

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) initiative has assigned CVE Candidate CAN-2005-3116 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 it.

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

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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, 08-Nov-05 13:50:00
Last modified on: Monday, 16-Jan-2006 11:56:38 PST
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