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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Messaging Gateway Security Issues


August 27, 2012



12/3/2012 CVE-2012-4347 added for Arbitrary File Download issue inadvertently left out of original advisory.





Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

Cross Site Scripting Request Forgery (CSRF) Backdoor - High





SSH Account Default Password Elevation of Privilege - High





Web Application Modification - High





Cross Site Scripting (XSS) Code Execution - High





Arbitrary File Download via Crafted URL - Medium





Information Disclosure - Low







Symantec's Messaging Gateway management console is susceptible to several security issues including cross-site scripting/cross-site request forgery, an SSH account with a default password, file downloads and potential web application modifications.   Successful exploitation could result in unauthorized command execution on or access to the management console and the operating system.


Product(s) Affected




Symantec Messaging Gateway


Upgrade to the latest release of SMG 10.x



Symantec was notified of several security issues impacting Symantec's Messaging Gateway management console.  Issues the affected versions of Symantec Messaging Gateway may be susceptible to include:

  • • Multiple XSS issues as a result of insufficient validation/sanitation of external web or incoming malicious email content. 
  • • A CSRF issue that, successfully exploited, could potentially allow unauthorized administrative access. 
  • • An SSH default passworded account that could potentially be leveraged by an unprivileged user to attempt to gain additional privilege access.  
  • • The capability to potentially modify the underlying web application with elevated privileges once attacker has gained initial access to the Symantec Messaging Gateway management interface.
  • • Arbitrary file downloads with web-user privileges via a specifically crafted URL.
  • • The affected applications disclose excessive component versioning information during successful reconnaissance that could potentially be leveraged in future unauthorized access attempts.   


In a normal installation, neither the Symantec Messaging Gateway appliance management interface nor the system hosting the software application would be externally accessible from the network environment nor used to access external web sites.  These restrictions reduce exposure to the majority of these issues from external sources.  However, an authorized but unprivileged network user or an external attacker able to successfully leverage network access or entice an authorized user to access a malicious URL could attempt to exploit these issues.



Symantec Response

Symantec engineers verified the issues and released an update to address them. Symantec engineers continue to review all functionality to further enhance the overall security of Symantec Messaging Gateway. Symantec strongly recommends Symantec Messaging Gateway customers update to the latest release of Symantec Messaging Gateway 10.x at their earliest opportunity to protect from any attempts to target these types of issues.  Symantec knows of no exploitation of or adverse customer impact from this issue.

Symantec Messaging Gateway 10.x is currently 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.
  • • Disable remote access if not required or restrict it to trusted/authorized systems only.
  • • Where possible, limit exposure of application and web interfaces to trusted/internal networks 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 Ben Williams with NGS Secure, NCC Group  for reporting these issues to us and coordinating with us as we resolved them 


Symantec credits Stefan Viehböck, with SEC Consult www.sec-consult.com for also reporting the SSH default password account.




BID: Security Focus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned Bugtraq IDs (BIDs) to these issues for inclusion in the Security Focus vulnerability database.

CVE: These issues are candidates for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems. 







BID 55138

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) issues


BID 55137

Cross-Site Scripting Request Forgery (CSRF) Backdoor


BID 55143

SSH Account Default Password


BID 55141

Web Application Modification


BID 56789

Arbitrary File Download via crafted URL


BID 55142

Information Disclosure


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: August 27, 2012
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