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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator 2.3 Insecure File Permissions


June 15, 2012

Revision History

9/10/2012 - Version 2.3.2 released to address areas identified by Tenable Security as not completely resolved.


Modified CVSS2 score.  Logging onto the targeted system (authentication=single) is required to attempt to leverage issues.



Insecure File Permissions  Local Elevation of Privilege - Medium

CVSS2 Base Score



CVSS2 Vector






Exploit Publicly Available:  Yes, Proof of Concept


Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator 2.3 and prior install some files with insecure file permissions during a default installation. These files allow full control permission to everyone which could result in arbitrary command execution with elevated privileges on the system.


Affected Products




Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator Windows version

2.3.1 and prior

Update to Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator Windows version 2.3.2


Non-Affected Products



Symantec Live Update Administrator



Symantec was notified of insecure file permissions following a default installation of Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator.  Permissions on the installed files allow full control to 'Everyone'. An authorized but non-privileged user or an unauthorized user with access to an account on the local system hosting Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator could potentially leverage these improper permissions to read arbitrary system files with elevated privileges.  There is also a potential for the unauthorized local user to successfully overwrite arbitrary files or create scripts that execute with SYSTEM privileges. Successful exploitation could result in an unauthorized local user executing arbitrary commands with privileged access on the system.


Symantec Response
Symantec engineers confirmed the issue and addressed it initially in Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator 2.3.1.  Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator 2.3.1 was originally made available to customers through support channels. 


There were public reports suggesting that Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator 2.3.1 did NOT fully address all areas of the local permissions issue.  Symantec has released LiveUpdate Administrator 2.3.2 to fully address these concerns. Symantec recommends customers who have not yet upgraded to the latest release of Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator do so as soon as possible.


Symantec is not aware of any adverse customer impact from this issue.


Best Practices

As part of normal best practices, Symantec strongly recommends:

  • Restrict access to administration or management systems to privileged users.
  • Disable remote access or restrict it to trusted/authorized systems only.
  • 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 credits Tenable Network Security, http://www.tenable.com/ for reporting the original findings further identifying weaknesses in the resulting Symantec LiveUpdate Administrator 2.3.1 release.


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

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






BID 53903

Insecure File Permissions


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: June 15, 2012
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