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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec NetBackup Communications Setup Elevation of Privilege


February 17, 2009

Revision History




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


A non-privileged but authorized system user could potentially leverage the Veritas Network daemon to attempt to gain elevated privileges on the system.

Affected Products

Symantec Veritas NetBackup Enterprise Server/clients
Symantec Veritas NetBackup Server/clients
6.0All6.0 MP7 S01
Note: Product versions prior to those listed above are NOT supported. Customers running legacy product versions should upgrade and apply available updates.


During the normal process of an administrative login, the Symantec Veritas NetBackup server communicates with the client via the Veritas network daemon, vnetd. This communication process does not properly sanitize server-supplied data during initial communications setup. This could allow a non-privileged user with access to the targeted host's local network, to insert arbitrary code of their choice on the system which could then potentially execute on the system with administrative privileges. Exploitation could possibly result in memory corruption and denial of service or, if successfully exploited, could potentially allow a malicious user to gain administrative privileges on the targeted computer.

Symantec Response

Symantec engineers have verified that the vulnerability exists in the supported versions of Symantec Veritas NetBackup listed in the table above. Updates have been released to resolve the issue.

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

The updates and additional information concerning affected products are available from:



Symantec Security Response has released an IPS/IDS signature, Signature ID 23283, to detect and block attempts to exploit this issue. Signature is available through normal update channels.

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.
  • Deploy network 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


Symantec would like to thank the National Australia Bank's Security Assurance team for identifying this issue and working closely with us during resolution


SecurityFocus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned BID 33772 to this issue

This issue is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems. A CVE Candidate name has been 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.


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 17, 2009
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