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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec AppStream ActiveX Unauthorized Access


January 15, 2009

Revision History




Remote Access (adjacent network)Yes
Local AccessNo
Authentication RequiredNo
Exploit availableNo


Vulnerabilities were reported in an ActiveX control that Symantec’s AppStream 5.2.x Client installs. Exploitation of this issue could possibly lead to unauthorized information disclosure, system information corruption or potentially allow arbitrary code execution in the context of the user’s browser. Successful exploitation would require user interaction.

Affected Products

Symantec AppStream Client5.2.xAll5.2.2 SP3 MP1


Symantec engineers discovered a vulnerable ActiveX control, LaunchObj, in Symantec’s AppStream 5.2.x client during an internal review. CERT also discovered this vulnerable control and reported their findings to Symantec.

Although this control was not intended to be called by an unauthorized server, it failed to properly validate external input. If called by a malicious user able to successfully masquerade as a valid server, this lack of proper validation could potentially allow download of arbitrary code on a client system. This could result in a browser crash or allow unauthorized access to add, modify, overwrite or corrupt existing files on the targeted system. Unauthorized access to the vulnerable control could result in possible arbitrary code execution in the context of the client. An attacker would have to effectively entice a user to download and execute code via a malicious web site that could effectively call this vulnerable control.

Symantec Response

Symantec product engineers have developed and released solutions for this issue through Symantec's support download locations as indicated.

Symantec recommends all customers apply the latest available updates to protect against threats of this nature.

Symantec knows of no exploitation of or adverse customer impact from these issues.

The update listed for affected products is available from the following location:


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 it is required, to trusted/authorized systems only.
  • Run under the principle of least privilege where possible to limit the impact of potential exploits.
  • 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.
  • Keep all operating systems and applications updated with the latest vendor patches.
  • 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.


Symantec thanks Will Dormann at CERT for reporting this finding and coordinating closely with Symantec as we resolved the issue.


Security Focus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned a Bugtraq ID (BID) 33247 to this issue for inclusion in the Security Focus vulnerability database.

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-2008-4388 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: January 15, 2009
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