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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Device Driver Local Elevation of Privilege


October 7, 2008

Revision History


Risk Impact


Remote Access (adjacent network)No
Local AccessYes
Authentication RequiredYes
Exploit availableNo

*Proof of concept only


A Gear Software device driver distributed with several Symantec products contains a flaw which, if successfully exploited, could allow a local elevation of privilege.

Affected Products

Norton 3602.0 and earlierRun LiveUpdate in Interactive Mode
Norton Ghost14 and earlierhttp://www.gearsoftware.com/support/drivers.cfm
Norton Save and Restore2.0 and earlier
Backup Exec System Recovery6.x, 7.x and 8.x
Symantec LiveState Recoverysustaining

Unaffected Products

Symantec Ghost Solution Suiteall
Norton Internet Securityall
Norton AntiVirusall


Ruben Santamarta notified Symantec that a Gear Software driver (GEARAspiWDM.Sys) distributed with several Symantec products could be used to allow a local attacker to run arbitrary code with SYSTEM rights on the local system.

Symantec Response

Symantec engineers confirmed that the issue exists in the drivers distributed with the products listed in the Affected Products table above. Gear Software has provided an updated driver to correct the problem. Norton 360 customers can obtain this update by running LiveUpdate. Customers who use other impacted products can get the update directly from the Gear website. Please refer to Obtaining the Update for additional information.

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

Obtaining the Update

Norton 360 users who regularly launch and run LiveUpdate should automatically receive an updated (non-vulnerable) version of the affected driver. To ensure all available updates have been applied, users can run a manual LiveUpdate as follows:
  • Open any installed Norton product
  • Click LiveUpdate
  • Run LiveUpdate until all available product updates are downloaded and installed
Customers who are using other impacted products should download and apply the latest Gear driver from Gear Software’s web site:
  • From a browser window, navigate to the Gear Software Driver update page, or click on this link: http://www.gearsoftware.com/support/drivers.cfm
  • Click the Driver Installer link (for 32 and 64 bit systems)
  • At the prompt, click Run to install the update.

Best Practices

Symantec recommends any affected customers update their product to protect against potential attempts to exploit this issue. As part of normal best practices, Symantec recommends the following:
  • Run under the principle of least privilege.
  • Restrict access to computer systems to trusted users only.
  • Keep all operating systems and applications updated with the latest vendor patches.
  • Follow a multi-layered approach to security. Run both firewall and antivirus software to provide multiple points of protection from inbound and outbound threats.


Symantec extends thanks to Ruben Santamarta of Wintercore (www.wintercore.com), for reporting the issue CERT (www.cert.org), for coordinating the response to this vulnerability. Gear Software (www.gearsoftware.com), for correcting the problem and providing updated drivers.


This issue is a candidate for inclusion in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) list (http://cve.mitre.org). The CVE initiative has assigned CVE-2008-3636 to this issue.

SecurityFocus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned BID 31089 to this issue


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: October 7, 2008
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