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March 2, 2004
Symantec Firewall/VPN Appliance Cached Password Vulnerability

Revision History

Risk Impact
Medium (Highly dependent on environment)

Symantec is aware of a potential administrator password leakage vulnerability reported on securityfocus.com. This vulnerability could affect the security of the web interface configuration password for Symantec Firewall/VPN Appliance deployments and could potentially reveal the password to unauthorized users if the administrator changes the password from an insecure system (i.e., public system, or shared laptop/PC).

Affected Components
Symantec Firewall/VPN 100 (all firmware versions)
Symantec Firewall/VPN 200 (all firmware versions)
Symantec Firewall/VPN 200R (all firmware versions)

A copy of the Administration Authentication Password screen may be saved to the browser cache (depending upon browser settings), for example, in the Temporary Internet Files of a Windows PC when using Internet Explorer. The browser cache may be held in other folders depending upon OS and Web Browser used. The password configured by the administrator, although hidden on the interface screen, will show up in clear text within the cached HTML code.

Note: This vulnerability DOES NOT apply to users entering the Administrator Authentication Password to access the web interface. It only applies to administrators changing the Authentication Password from an insecure system (for example a public system, or a laptop/PC that is shared by different users).

Symantec Response
Symantec has created a fix that is available from the Symantec Enterprise Support Site.

Symantec recommends that one of the following files containing corrected firmware be downloaded and installed in all Symantec Firewall/VPN appliances. These firmware files contain a correction, which ensures that the password data is stripped from the HTML string.

The new firmware release is available on the support site as the following download files:

  • For the Symantec Firewall/VPN 100:

  • For the Symantec Firewall/VPN 200:

  • For the Symantec Firewall/VPN 200R:

Symantec strongly recommends that the above corrective action be taken as soon as possible. However, customers should use the following recommended work-around for the vulnerability until they are able to download and install the new firmware release.

When changing (or first setting) the Web Interface Configuration Password for the Symantec Firewall/VPN Appliances, administrators should:

  • Manage the unit from a trusted host OR

  • If managing from an untrusted host, clear the web browser cache AFTER changing the Administration Password (after pressing the Save button) OR

  • If clearing the browser cache is not possible on an untrusted host, Symantec strongly recommends NOT using the system to change the Administration Authentication Password.

Symantec takes the security and proper functionality of its products very seriously. As founding members in the Organization for Internet Safety, Symantec follows the process of responsible disclosure. Please contact symsecurity@symantec.com if you feel you have discovered a potential or actual security issue with a Symantec product.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) initiative has assigned the name CAN-2004-0190 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 15:24:42