1. Symantec/
  2. Security Response/
  3. Security Updates Detail

Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution Elevation of Privilege Clear Text Password in Memory


October 20, 2008

Revision History




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

*Proof of concept only


An elevation of privilege issue via a privileged access password stored in memory has been identified and resolved in the Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution. Successful exploitation could potentially allow a non-privileged user with authorized access to the system hosting the Deployment Solution Server to gain unauthorized access and modify network client systems.

Affected Products

Altiris Deployment Solution6.XAll6.9.355 SP1


Information Risk Management Plc reported that the Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution agent stores the Application Identity Account password, set during installation, in clear text in system memory. A non-privileged user with authorized access to the system hosting the Deployment Solution Server could potentially retrieve this password from system memory enabling the user to possibly make unauthorized modifications to client systems on the network, e.g., deploy unauthorized software.

The level of unauthorized access achieved is dependent on the user group the Application Identity Account was established under during initial installation. The impact of this threat is further reduced as it requires initial authorized system access in any attempt to compromise the targeted account. In a recommended installation, the Altiris Deployment Solution Server should be restricted to privileged-access, authorized users only and located in a restricted access environment.

Symantec Response

Symantec engineers have verified and resolved these issues in Altiris Deployment Solution 6.9 SP1. Updates are available as follows:
  • Go to http://www.altiris.com/download.aspx
  • Select either "Deployment Solution for Clients 6.9 SP1" or “Deployment Solution for Servers 6.9 SP1” from the drop-down box
  • Accept the "End User License Agreement"
  • Login to the download site
  • Click on "Download Now" for the appropriate product to download a zip file containing the Deployment Solution update.
  • Unzip the update package and double-click on the install file.
Follow the installation instructions 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.
  • Keep all operating systems and applications updated with the latest vendor patches.
  • Follow a multi-layered approach to security. Run both firewall and anti-malware applications, at a minimum, to provide multiple points of detection and protection to both inbound and outbound threats.
  • Deploy network and host-based 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


Security Focus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned a Bugtraq ID (BID 31767) to this issue for inclusion in the Security Focus vulnerability data base.


A CVE Candidate name will be requested from the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) initiative for this issue. This advisory will be revised accordingly upon receipt of the CVE Candidate name. This issue is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems


Symantec would like to thank Mazin Faour, Information Risk Management Plc, for reporting this issue and providing full coordination while Symantec resolved 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 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 20, 2008
Security Response Blog
The State of Spam