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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution and Notification Server Management Web Console Browse and Save File ActiveX Overflow


November 2, 2009

Revision History

11/3/2009 Added information about public proof of concept code availability


Remote Access Yes
Local Access No
Authentication Required No
Exploit publicly available Metasploit Module available


Symantec’s Altiris Deployment Solution and Notification Server web consoles install a vulnerable ActiveX control. 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 requires user interaction.

Affected Product(s)

Product Version Build Solution(s)
Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution 6.9.x All Apply Update
Symantec Altiris Notification Server 6.0.x All Apply Update
Symantec Management Platform 7.0.x All Apply Update


Symantec is aware of a vulnerable ActiveX control, AeXNSConsoleUtilities.dll, being reported in Symantec’s Altiris Notification Server / Symantec Management Platform and with Symantec’s Altiris Deployment Solution 6.9. The vulnerable control is downloaded during the initial connection to the web console on the management server to enable authorized admin access to the management server. While the control is not intended to be called externally, it fails to properly validate/filter user input which could potentially allow unauthorized execution of arbitrary code on the targeted system in the context of the user’s browser.
The system the control resides on should not be accessible external to the network in a recommended installation. To attempt to exploit this issue, the system user would need to be enticed to download malicious content either through browsing to a malicious web site, internal or external to the network, or potentially through a malicious html email that could effectively call the vulnerable control.

Symantec Response

Symantec engineers have verified this finding and released an update to resolve this issue. Symantec is not aware of any customer impact from this issue. Follow instructions and hotfix provided below:

For Symantec Altiris Notification Server and Symantec Management Platform, Altiris Knowledge Base article 49289, available to customers at https://kb.altiris.com/article.asp?article=49389&p=1

For Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution, Altiris Knowledge Base article 49568, available to customers at https://kb.altiris.com/article.asp?article=49568&p=1


Symantec Security Response has released IPS/IDS signatures,

23486 - HTTP Altiris Console Utilities AX BO
50239 - MSIE Altiris Console Utilities AX BO

to detect and block attempts to exploit this issue. Signatures will be 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 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 Nikolas Sotiriu, nikolas sotiriu - it services, for reporting this issue and coordinating with us while Symantec resolved it.


Security Focus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned Bugtraq ID (BID) 36698 to this issue for inclusion in the SecurityFocus vulnerability database.

This issue is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems. CVE-2009-3031 has been assigned 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: November 2, 2009
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