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January 17, 2003
Symantec Norton Internet Security ICMP Packet Flood Denial Of Service Vulnerability


Symantec is aware of an issue with the Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2003. A Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP system with Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2003 installed can experience a crash when sending an excessively large echo request.

Components Affected
Norton Personal Firewall 2003
Norton Internet Security 2003
Norton Internet Security 2003 Professional Edition

On 13 January 2003, Symantec became aware of an issue originally reported on BugTraq. By sending an excessively large echo request, a crash can occur on a Windows 2000 or Windows XP system with Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2003 installed.

Symantec Response
Symantec engineers have evaluated and verified that this issue exists for Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall 2003, Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2003 as well as Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2003 Professional Edition. Sending this excessively large echo request results in the overflow of an internal buffer and causes a crash of the system. This issue does not occur on systems running Windows 9x, Windows ME or Windows NT.

Symantec takes any product issue such as this very seriously. We have developed an update for Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2003, Symantec Norton Internet Security 2003 and Symantec Norton Internet Security 2003 Professional Edition to address this issue. The update is now available via LiveUpdate.

There are some circumstances that greatly mitigate the risk associated with this issue. In this instance, the system is attempting to send an excessively large echo request. Any attempt to do this requires either local access to the targeted system to initiate the request or malicious code that initiates the request is downloaded and executed on the target system.

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 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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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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Last modified on: Monday, 25-Oct-04 15:05:11