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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Endpoint Protection Privilege Assumption, Policy Bypass, Local Elevation of Privilege


January 9, 2014








Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

SEPM Insufficient User Validation Privilege Assumption - Medium





SEP Client ADC Security Policy Bypass Unauthorized File Access - Medium





SEP Client Unquoted Search Path Local Elevation of Privilege - Medium







The Management Console in Symantec Endpoint Protection does not properly validate user authentication, which could potentially allow a user to assume another user’s identity and privileges on the console. 

Symantec Endpoint Protection clients do not sufficiently restrict custom policies, which could potentially lead to directory/file access by an unauthorized user.

Symantec Endpoint Protection clients have unquoted search paths, which could allow a non-privileged local user to potentially run arbitrary code.

Affected Products





Symantec Endpoint Protection



Upgrade to SEP or the latest release of SEP 12.1.x

Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition



Upgrade to latest release of SEP 12.1.x

Symantec Endpoint Protection


All prior to 12.1.2 (RU2)

Upgrade to latest release of SEP 12.1.x



Symantec’s Endpoint Protection Manager does not properly validate the authentication of authorized users.   This could potentially permit an authorized but limited access administrator to leverage full admin privileged access.  Any authorized user who can access a limited admin account could potentially assume the identification and privileges of any other authorized console user to include full admin.

The Application/Device Control (ADC) in Symantec Endpoint Protection clients does not sufficiently enforce some custom polices.  An authorized but non-privileged user could potentially bypass restrictions set up via ADC policies and access unauthorized directories/files on a system. 

NOTE:  This custom policy bypass does not permit a non-privileged user to bypass normal file system permissions (ACLs).  A user bypassing custom policy restrictions in this manner will not be able to access files or directories in violation of established ACLs.

Symantec Endpoint Protection clients are susceptible to an unquoted search path issue. This could potentially allow an authorized but non-privileged local user to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges on the client system.  Successful targeting would require the local user to be able to insert their code in the system root path undetected by the OS or other security applications where it could potentially be executed during application startup or reboot.  If successful, their code could potentially execute with client application privileges.

Symantec Response
Symantec product engineers verified these issues and resolved them in the Symantec Endpoint Protection releases identified above.

Update Information

Updates are available through customers’ normal support/download locations.

Best Practices
As part of normal best practices, Symantec strongly recommends the following:

  • Restrict access to administrative or management systems to authorized 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 potential exploit
  • Keep all operating systems and applications current with 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 thanks Matthew Hembree for the security policy bypass reported in Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager Application/Device Control and for working closely with us as we resolved it.

Symantec credits Jennia Hizver for reporting the user identity and privilege assumption in Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager and for working closely with us as we resolved it.

Symantec credits Anand Bhat and Timothy McKenzie for identifying unquoted search paths in Symantec Endpoint Protection.


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 64128

SEPM Insufficient User Validation Privilege Assumption


BID 64129

SEP Client ADC Security Policy Bypass Unauthorized File Access


BID 64130

SEP Client Unquoted Search Path Local Elevation of Privilege



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: January 9, 2014
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