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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution Multiple Vulnerabilities


August 26, 2009

Revision History

9/9/2009 Updated the CVE IDs assigned to these issues


Low to High

Remote Access Yes, Adjacent Network
Local Access No
Authentication Required No
Exploit publicly available No


Symantec’s Altiris Deployment Solution contains vulnerabilities that could potentially be leveraged for unauthorized file access or a denial of service on a client system, authentication bypass on the Server to local system-level access on a client system.

Affected Product(s)

Product Version Build Solution(s)
Altiris Deployment Solution 6.9.x All 6.9 SP3 Build 430


Symantec was notified of issues impacting the Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution during client/server communications.

1) The DBManager authentication can potentially be bypassed. The DBManager is assigned a default listening port. A malicious user with authorized network access and working knowledge of the command structure of the DBManager could potentially pass unauthenticated commands remotely to this service. Successful exploitation of this issue could potentially result in the malicious user being able to modify the Altiris Database to add/remove users and access or potentially modify currently scheduled tasks which could adversely impact multiple clients. This is considered a high severity issue.

2) The Aclient GUI is not fully protected from unauthorized access. While the installation directory is protected, the Everyone user group is implemented with full control of the client executable by default. A non-privileged user could potentially use Everyone user group access to maliciously modify the client with arbitrary code. The GUI binary runs with logged on user privileges by default. Should any other privileged user log into the client, the results could be a potential elevation of privilege and compromise of the client system. This issue has a potentially high severity.

3) When using AClient agent of the Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution, an option is available to provide key-based authentication between the deployment server and a client system. Once authentication has been implemented, communications between the client and server is secure. However, there is a small window of vulnerability, just prior to the authentication handshake when authentication can potentially be bypassed, e.g., when the client system is just being booted or having to reconnect to the deployment solution server. At this point, a malicious individual on the network with access to or the ability to impersonate a deployment server could issue alternate commands to a client just prior to the handshake. If successful, the client would accept these commands as valid and implement them with SYSTEM level privileges. A malicious user, with sufficient access to the network, could potential disrupt communications between the deployment server and a client system and exploit the automatic reconnection by the client to attempt an attack of this nature. This is considered a medium severity issue.

4) The functionality of the Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution includes the ability to transfer files from the server to the deployed clients. A malicious user with network access and knowledge of the port assigned for file transfer can potentially exploit a race condition by making successive multiple connections to this port to intercept the content of these files prior to legitimate clients accessing them. Done successfully, this can result in unauthorized file access and/or a potential partial denial of service. Once the files have been downloaded from the deployment server, the server assumes they were received by an authorized client and no longer attempts to update the client with those updates.

With encryption enabled, the result of any unauthorized file access would only be a partial denial of service of authorized client systems failing to receive the available update(s). This is considered a low severity issue.

Symantec Response

Symantec engineers have verified these findings and released an update to resolve this issue.

Upgrade to at least version 6.9 SP3 Build 430. as follows:
  • Go to http://www.altiris.com/download.aspx
  • Enter your email address.
  • Select "Deployment Solution for Clients 6.9 SP3" from the drop-down box
  • Click "Submit"
  • Accept the "End User License Agreement"
  • Click on "Deployment Solution for Clients 6.9 SP3" to download a zip file containing the Deployment Solution update.
  • Unzip the update package and double-click on Altiris_DeploymentSolutionWin_6_9.exe.
  • 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


Symantec would like to thank Luke Jennings with MWRInfosecurity for reporting these issues and providing full coordination and assistance while Symantec resolved them.


SecurityFocus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned Bugtraq IDs (BID) to these issues for inclusion in the SecurityFocus vulnerability database. The BIDs assigned are
36110 for the first issue, DBManager authentication bypass
36111 for the second issue, client privilege elevation
36112 for the third issue, race condition unauthorized file access/denial of service
36113 for the forth issue, client/server communications authentication bypass

These issues are candidates for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems. The following CVE IDs have been assigned to these issues
CVE-2009-3107 for the DBManager authentication bypass
CVE-2009-3108 for the client privilege elevation
CVE-2009-3110 for the race condition unauthorized file access/denial of service
CVE-2009-3109 for the client/server communications authentication bypass


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: August 26, 2009
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