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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Backup Exec and NetBackup for Windows Servers Multiple Vulnerabilities in Scheduler


February 28, 2008

Revision History

3/3/2008 - Exploit code for these issues is currently available publicly
9/24/2008 -Versions of NetBackup on supported Windows Platforms were found to ship a vulnerable control although used in a more restrictive environment. They have been added as affected products


Medium (highly configuration dependent)
Remote AccessYes
Local AccessNo
Authentication RequiredAuthenticated user involvement required
Exploit publicly availableYes


Vulnerabilities were reported in an ActiveX control that Symantec’s Backup Exec for Windows Server (BEWS) installs with its scheduler. Exploitation of these issues could possibly lead to unauthorized information disclosure, system information corruption or potentially allow arbitrary code execution in the context of the user’s browser. However, successful exploitation requires specific conditions.
The scheduler shipping with earlier versions of NetBackup (NBU) for Windows, while used in a very restrictive environment, was also found to contain this vulnerable control.

Products Affected

Symantec Backup Exec for Windows Server 11d11.0.6235 Hotfix Available
Symantec Backup Exec for Windows Server 11d11.0.7170 Hotfix Available
Symantec Backup Exec for Windows Server Hotfix Available
Symantec NetBackup on Windows Platforms5.1Prior to MP75.1 MP7
Symantec NetBackup on Windows Platforms6.0Prior to MP76.0 MP7
Symantec NetBackup on Windows Platforms6.5Prior to
Note:ONLY the products and versions listed as affected above are vulnerable to these issues. This issue impacts the Server only. Remote client agents are NOT affected.


Symantec was alerted to multiple vulnerabilities consisting of stack overflows and unsafe method calls that Secunia Research discovered in an ActiveX control, installed with Symantec BEWS and with NBU for Windows as a part of the scheduler component. Although this control is not intended to be called via an external web browser, it failed to properly parse or validate external input. If accessed by an authorized but non-privileged user, this improper validation could potentially result in a browser crash or it could possibly permit unauthorized methods calls allowing access to overwrite or corrupt files. Unauthorized access to the vulnerable control could also result in possible buffer overflows with the potential for malicious code execution in the context of the targeted browser.

The impact of this threat is considerably lessened as it would require authorized user involvement in any attempt to compromise the targeted server. To exploit successfully, an attacker would need to be aware of the exact path to the vulnerable control. An attacker would have to be able to effectively entice a user to upload and execute malicious scripts via HTML email or visit a malicious web site hosting malicious code that could be effectively run against this vulnerable control.

Symantec Response

Symantec product engineers have developed and released solutions for this issue through
Symantec's LiveUpdate capability and support channels as indicated.
Symantec recommends all customers apply all updates to protect against threats of this nature.
Symantec knows of no exploitation of or adverse customer impact from these issues.
The patches listed for affected products are available from the following location:


For NBU on Windows:

Symantec has developed IDS signatures to detect and block attempts to exploit these issues.

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.
  • Users, at a minimum, should 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.
  • Users should be cautious of mysterious attachments and executables delivered via email and be cautious of browsing unknown/untrusted websites or opening unknown/untrusted URL links.
  • Do not open unidentified attachments or executables from unknown sources or that you didn't request or were unaware of.
  • Always err on the side of caution. Even if the sender is known, the source address may be spoofed.
  • If in doubt, contact the sender to confirm they sent it and why before opening the attachment. If still in doubt, delete the attachment without opening it.


Symantec would like to thank JJ Reyes with Secunia Research for reporting these findings and coordinating closely with Symantec as we resolved the issues.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) initiative has assigned:
CVE-2007-6016 to the buffer overflow issue
CVE-2007-6017 to the unsafe methods issue
These issues are candidates for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org/), which standardizes names for security issues.
SecurityFocus has assigned Bugtraq ID BID 26904 for the buffer overflows and BID 28008 for the unsafe methods for inclusion in the Security Focus vulnerability database.


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 28, 2008
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