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May 9, 2007
Symantec COM object security bypass

Revision History

Risk Impact

Local AccessYes
Authentication RequiredYes
Exploit availableNo

A design error in an ActiveX control used by Norton AntiVirus could potentially be exploited by a malicious web site. A successful exploit could lead to remote code execution.

Affected Products
Norton AntiVirus2005 and 2006Run manual LiveUpdate
Norton Internet Security2005 and 2006
Norton System Works2005 and 2006

Unaffected Products
Norton AntiVirus2007 and later
Norton Internet Security2007 and later
Norton System Works2007 and later
Norton 3602007 and later
Norton Confidential2007 and later
Symantec enterprise productsAll versions

Note: Symantec enterprise products, including Symantec Client Security and Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition are not affected by this issue.

Symantec was notified by iDefense that a design error in NAVOPTS.DLL, an ActiveX control used by Norton AntiVirus, could potentially allow an attacker to crash the control if the end user visits a malicious web site. A successful exploit of NAVOPTS.DLL could then allow the attacker to access other Symantec ActiveX controls, even if they are not marked safe for scripting, possibly leading to remote arbitrary code execution in the context of the user's browser.

Symantec Response
Symantec product engineers have determined that the issue affects the Norton consumer products listed in the table above. Product updates to correct the problem are available through LiveUpdate.

This vulnerability can only be exploited if an attacker entices the user to visit a malicious website. This type of attack is most commonly achieved through sending email containing a link to the malicious site, and persuading the recipient to click on the link.

Norton product users who normally run manual LiveUpdate should already have this update. However, to ensure all available updates have been properly installed, run manual LiveUpdate as follows:

  • Open any installed Norton product
  • Click LiveUpdate
  • Run LiveUpdate until all available product updates are downloaded and installed
  • A system reboot may be required, depending on the existing patch level of the affected product.
Symantec is not aware of any customers impacted by this issue, or of any attempts to exploit the issue.

Symantec's enterprise products do not use NAVOPTS.DLL, and therefore they are not affected by this vulnerability.

Best Practices
As part of normal best practices, Symantec strongly recommends a multi-layered approach to security:

  • Run under the principle of least privilege where possible.
  • Keep all operating systems and applications updated with the latest vendor patches.
  • Run both a personal firewall and antivirus application with current updates to provide multiple points of detection and protection to both inbound and outbound threats.
  • Be cautious when receiving attachments, executables, and web links through email. Do not open email from unknown senders.
  • Email addresses can easily be spoofed so that a message appears to come from someone you know. If in doubt, contact the sender to confirm they sent it before opening attachments or following web links.

Symantec would like to acknowledge Peter Vreugdenhil, working with the iDefense Vulnerability Contributor Program (http://www.idefense.com), for reporting this issue and coordinating with us on the response.

Best Practices
This issue is a candidate for inclusion in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems. The CVE initiative has assigned CVE-2006-3456 to this issue

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.

Initial Post on: Wednesday, 09-May-07 9:00:00
Last modified on: Wednesday, 09-May-2007 11:14:19 PDT
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