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March 22, 2004
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine Potential Race Condition Vulnerability

Revision History

Risk Impact

Symantec is aware of a potential race condition reported in the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine during initial installation.

Affected Components
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine (SAVSE) 4.3 for Solaris and Red Hat

Symantec was alerted to the posting of information indicating a race condition vulnerability in the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine during installation. During the installation of the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine and the initial system update with Symantec Java LiveUpdate, there is a limited window of opportunity in which a local user could potentially exploit the targeted system. By creating a symbolic link, an attacker could cause Java LiveUpdate to append data to an unintended file, or to create a new file in an unintended location. In some circumstances, an unprivileged user may be able to gain elevated access to the system.

Symantec Response
Symantec has developed a build update for Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine 4.3 to address this issue. Customers can obtain a build update through their appropriate technical support channels.

The Symantec Antivirus Scan Engine update fully mitigates this issue. Symantec Java LiveUpdate 2.0 is also being strengthened to further address these types of issues. An update for Symantec Java LiveUpdate will be available soon.

Symantec recommends that build update for the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine be installed. In the event you cannot install the build update, customers should follow recommended workarounds to help mitigate the potential risk from this issue.

When installing Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine, administrators should:

  • Install the application on a trusted, restricted access host

  • Modify /etc/liveupdate.conf and set the log file to be stored in the /opt/Symantec/LiveUpdate/ directory

  • Modify the /opt/SYMCScan/bin/liveupdate.sh script and insert "umask 077" on the second line

    Note: Umask of 077 is recommended if possible, or umask 027 if group id is a system group or specific to the Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) initiative has assigned CVE Candidate name CAN-2004-0217 to this issue.

This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems.

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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Last modified on: Monday, 25-Oct-04 15:26:46