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


July 25, 2013



9/5/2013 – Added credits unintentionally left off original posting





Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

Operating System Command Injection - High






OS Command Security Misconfiguration - High





SQL Injection - High





Cross-site Scripting - Medium





Cross-Site Request Forgery Protection Bypass - Medium





Command Execution in Radius Authentication - Medium






Symantec's Web Gateway (SWG) Appliance management console is susceptible to security issues.  Successful exploitation could result in unauthorized command execution on or access to the management console, or the appliance itself. There is also potential for unauthorized database manipulation.


Product(s) Affected




Symantec Web Gateway Appliance

5.1.0 and prior

Symantec Web Gateway 5.1.1

 NOTE:  Customers should always ensure they are running the latest data base updates available


Symantec was notified of security issues impacting the SWG management console and the underlying appliance OS. These security issues may be leveraged individually or chained in an attempt to facilitate additional unauthorized access. The results of successful exploitation could potentially range from unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data to possibly unauthorized privileged access to the Symantec Web Gateway Appliance.

Unauthenticated arbitrary commands can potentially be injected into existing application scripts accessible though the SWG consoles interface.  Successful command injection could result in arbitrary command execution with elevated privileges on the web console. 

The sudoer file is configured such that a non-privileged but authorized sudo user can run unauthorized commands that could possibly result in elevated access to the appliance.

Some web application pages do not properly validate/sanitize external input allowing cross-site scripting both reflected and stored.   Successful targeting of these issues could result in hijacking the SWG user session.


A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) issue that can be leveraged by bypassing existing CSRF protection is present in affected versions of SWG.


Because both cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery are trust exploitations, they would generally require enticing an unprivileged but authorized network client user to follow a link or visit a web site hosting malicious code that would be downloaded.  The potential for exploitation is possible because the SWG application scans the incoming malicious code.  Depending on the nature of the link it is possible to execute arbitrary html requests/scripts. This could result in unintended actions being taken in the context of the web console user.

SQL injection issues were identified allowing an authenticated SWG administrator to make unauthorized database queries.  Successful targeting could potentially result in arbitrary SQL queries to the backend database resulting in unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and/or possibly unauthorized manipulation of the database.

Enabling Radius authentication leaves the SWG console susceptible to the potential for arbitrary command execution.  An unauthorized, malicious user able to access the login prompt on the SWG console could potentially run arbitrary code on the appliance. 

In a normal installation, the Symantec Web Gateway management interface should not be externally accessible from the network environment.  However, an authorized but unprivileged network user or an external attacker able to successfully leverage network access could attempt to exploit these weaknesses.


Symantec Response

Symantec engineers verified these issues and have released an update to address them. Symantec engineers continue to review related functionality to further enhance the overall security of Symantec Web Gateway. Symantec has released Symantec Web Gateway 5.1.1, currently available to customers through normal support locations to address these issues.


Customers should ensure they are on the latest release of Symantec Web Gateway 5.1.1 and running the latest data base update. To confirm customers are running the latest updates check the "Current Software Version -> Current Version" on the Administration->Updates page.  Alternatively, customers can click the "Check for Updates" button on the Administration->Updates page to verify that they are running the latest software version.


Symantec Security Response has released IPS signature 26812 - "Web Attack: Symantec Web Gateway XSS" to help detect and block remote exploit attempts. Signatures are available through normal Symantec security updates.

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.

        ·         The Symantec Web Gateway software and any applications that are installed on the Symantec Web Gateway can ONLY be updated with authorized and tested versions distributed by Symantec.

·         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 thanks Wolfgang Ettlinger (discovery, analysis) and Stefan Viehböck (coordination) from SEC Consult for reporting CVE-2013-1616, 1617, 4670, 4671, 4672 and working with us as we addressed them.


Symantec thanks Offensive Security for reporting CVE-2013-4673 and working with us as we addressed it.


Symantec thanks Glenn "'devalias'" Grant, http://devalias.net, for also reporting CVE-2013-4670 and working with us as we addressed them.



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 61106

OS command Injection


BID 61101

SQL Injection


BID 61103

Cross-Site Scripting


BID 61102

Cross-Site Request Forgery Protection Bypass


BID 61104

OS Command Security Misconfiguration


BID 61105

Command Execution in Radius Authentication





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: July 25, 2013
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