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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Encryption Desktop Local Access Elevation of Privilege


February 13, 2013


2/18/2013 - Revised CVE ID for the PGP Desktop pgpwded.sys.driver local access buffer overflow from CVE-2012-4352 to CVE-2012-6533 due to duplicate assignment for CVE-2012-4352.







Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

PGP Desktop pgpwded.sys driver local access integer overflow - Medium





PGP Desktop pgpwded.sys driver local access buffer overflow - Medium







Symantec's PGP Desktop and Encryption Desktop system kernel driver is susceptible to a local access integer overflow on all versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems.  The driver is also susceptible to a local buffer overflow only on Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems.  If successfully targeted these local vulnerabilities could potentially allow arbitrary code to run with privileged access.

 Product(s) Affected





Symantec PGP Desktop





Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 maintenance pack 1

Symantec Encryption Desktop



Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 maintenance pack 1



Symantec is aware of the public release of multiple vulnerabilities impacting Symantec PGP Desktop and Symantec Encryption Desktop.  The encryption kernel driver, pgpwded.sys is susceptible to an integer overflow in the handling of specifically malformed input that affects all Microsoft Windows operating systems.  Specifically on Windows XP and Windows Sever 2003, the kernel driver is also susceptible to an additional buffer overflow.  Both issues require local access to a system for any attempts to target these issues.  Successfully targeting these issues could potentially result in arbitrary code running with elevated privileges.  

Symantec Response

Symantec engineers have verified the issues and released an update addressing them. Symantec recommends customers update to Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 maintenance pack 1 or later.



The Pre-boot Authentication in PGP Desktop and Symantec Drive Encryption prevents the start-up level of access required for a successfully targeting of these issues.  Customers running these encryption products should be utilizing the full protection provided by PGP Whole Disk Encryption or Symantec Drive Encryption.

Update information

Customers may obtain Symantec Desktop Encryption maintenance update through their normal Symantec support locations.

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





BID: Security Focus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned Bugtraq ID (BID) 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 57170

PGP Desktop kernel driver integer overflow


BID 57835

PGP Desktop kernel driver buffer overflow



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 13, 2013
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