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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.
Please contact secure@symantec.com if you feel you have discovered a security issue in a Symantec product. A member of the Symantec Product 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 Product Security PGP key can be found at the location below.
Symantec has developed a Product Vulnerability Response document outlining the process we follow in addressing suspected vulnerabilities in our products. This document is available below.

Copyright (c) by Symantec Corp.

Permission to redistribute this alert electronically is granted as long as it is not edited in any way unless authorized by Symantec Product Security. Reprinting the whole or part of this alert in any medium other than electronically requires permission from secure@symantec.com


The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.
Symantec, Symantec products, Symantec Product Security, and secure@symantec.com are registered trademarks of Symantec Corp. and/or affiliated companies in the United States and other countries. All other registered and unregistered trademarks represented in this document are the sole property of their respective companies/owners.
* Signature names may have been updated to comply with an updated IPS Signature naming convention. See http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH152794&key=54619&actp=LIST for more information.
Last modified on: January 15, 2009
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