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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Decomposer: Multiple Denial of Service Vulnerabilities


February 27, 2008

Revision History

2/26/08 Added CVE information
2/27/08 Added archive type information


Remote AccessYes
Local AccessNo
Authentication RequiredNo
Exploit publicly availableNo


Two Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerabilities have been identified impact a older versions of the Symantec Decomposer when parsing RAR archive content for malicious content.

Products Affected

ProductsVersionsBuildsUpdate To
Symantec AntiVirus for Network Attached Storage & earlierAll4.3.18.43
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine and earlierAll4.3.18.43
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine for Caching4.3.16.39 & earlierAll4.3.18.43
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine for Clearswift4.3.16.39 & earlierAll4.3.18.43
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine for Messaging4.3.16.39 & earlierAll4.3.18.43
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine for MS ISA4.3.16.39 & earlierAll4.3.18.43
Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine for MS SharePoint4.3.16.39 & earlierAll4.3.18.43
Symantec AntiVirus/Filtering for Domino MPE(AIX, Linux, Solaris)AllAll3.2.2
Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange4.6.5.12 and earlierAll4.6.8.120 earlierAll5.0.6.368
Symantec Scan Engine5.1.4.24 and earlierAll5.1.6.31

Products Not Affected

Norton AntiVirus All All
Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh All All
Norton Personal Firewall All All
Norton System Works All All
Norton360 All All
Norton Internet Security All All
Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition All All
Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds All All
Symantec AntiVirus for HandHelds - Corporate Edition All All
Symantec AntiVirus for Macintosh All All
Symantec Brightmail AntiSpam All All
Symantec Client Security All All
Symantec Client Security for Nokia All All
Symantec Clientless VPN Gateway 4400 Series All All
Symantec Endpoint Protection All All
Symantec Enterprise Firewall All All
Symantec Firewall / VPN Appliance 100/200 All
Symantec Gateway Security All All
Symantec Gateway Security 300/400 Series 2.0 All
Symantec Gateway Security 5000 Series 3.0.1 All
Symantec Gateway Security 5400 Series 2.0.1 All
Symantec Internet Security for Macintosh All All
Symantec Mail Appliance All All
Symantec Mail Security for Domino NT All All
Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange 6.0.X All
Symantec Mail Security for SMTP All All
Symantec System Works for Macintosh All All
Symantec Web Security All All
Symantec Web Security for Microsoft ISA 2004 All All
Note: Only currently supported Symantec Products are being updated. Customers using unsupported versions are encouraged to upgrade to a supported version.


Two DoS vulnerabilities were identified of Symantec’s Decomposer engine related to scanning RAR archive content. The first issue is triggered when it receives malicious content. If sufficiently malformed, this could possibly cause large amounts of memory to be consumed which could result in a Denial of Service. The second issue is a buffer overflow that can cause the decomposer to crash causing a Denial of Service condition and the potential for remote code execution.

Symantec Response

Updates are available for affected products. Symantec recommends customers apply the latest product update available for their supported product versions to enhance their security posture and protect against potential security threats of this nature.

Symantec is not aware of any customers impacted by this issue, or of any attempts to exploit the issue.

Product updates are available from the Symantec support site: http://www.symantec.com/techsupp/ or via LiveUpdate when available.

Symantec product users who regularly launch and run LiveUpdate should already have received an updated (non-vulnerable) version of (product/component). However, to ensure all available updates have been applied, users can manually launch and run LiveUpdate in Interactive mode as follows:

To perform a manual update using Symantec LiveUpdate, users should:
  • Open any installed Symantec product
  • Click on LiveUpdate in the toolbar
  • Run LiveUpdate until all available Symantec product updates are downloaded and installed

Best Practices

As part of normal best practices, Symantec strongly recommends:
  • Restrict access to administration or management systems to privileged users.
  • Restrict remote access, if required, to trusted/authorized systems only.
  • Run under the principle of least privilege where possible to limit the impact of exploit by threats such as this.
  • Keep all operating systems and applications updated with the latest vendor patches.
  • Follow 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.
  • Deploy 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


SecurityFocus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned Bugtraq IDs(BID) to this issue for inclusion in the SecurityFocus vulnerability data base. The BIDs assigned are 27911 and 27913 which can be found at http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/27911 and http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/27913


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-2008-0308 and CVE-2008-0309 for these issues.


Symantec would like to thank iDefense for reporting these issues and providing full coordination while Symantec resolved them.


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 responsible disclosure guidelines.
Symantec has developed a Software Security Vulnerability Management Process document outlining the process we follow in addressing suspected vulnerabilities in our products.
Symantec Corporation firmly believes in a proactive approach to secure software development and implements security review into various stages of the software development process. Additionally, Symantec is committed to the security of its products and services as well as to its customers’ data. Symantec is committed to continually improving its software security process.
This document provides an overview of the current Secure Development Lifecycle (SDLC) practice applicable to Symantec’s product and service teams as well as other software security related activities and policies used by such teams. This document is intended as a summary and does not represent a comprehensive list of security testing and practices conducted by Symantec in the software development process.
Please contact secure@symantec.com if you believe you have discovered a security issue in a Symantec product. A member of the Symantec Software Security team will contact you regarding your submission to coordinate any required response. Symantec strongly recommends using encrypted email for reporting vulnerability information to secure@symantec.com.
The Symantec Software Security PGP key can be found at the following location:
Permission to redistribute this alert electronically is granted as long as it is not edited in any way unless authorized by Symantec Software Security. Reprinting the whole or part of this alert in any medium other than electronically requires permission from secure@symantec.com.
Last modified on: February 27, 2008
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