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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Encryption Desktop Memory Access Violations


April 23, 2014








Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

Symantec Encryption Desktop Professional Memory Copy Read Access Violation  - Low





Symantec Encryption Desktop Professional Memory Block Data Move Read Access Violation - Low







Symantec’s Encryption Desktop is susceptible to memory access violations when attempting to parse specific malformed certificate files.  This could result in a possible application crash if a malicious individual could entice an authorized user to successfully click on a malformed file.


Product(s) Affected





Symantec PGP Desktop





Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.2 Maintenance Pack 1

Symantec Encryption Desktop Professional



Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.2 Maintenance Pack 1



Symantec was notified of Symantec Encryption Desktop’s improper handling of data when parsing specifically formatted certificates.  Attempting to open such a malformed file type could potentially result in memory access violations when the application attempts to parse the file. The identified issues include memory copy and block data move read access violations. Successful exploitation of these memory read access violations would likely result in a possibility of an application crash. 


Symantec Response


The certificate file type identified as resulting in the memory read access violations is not a format that is normally used in network communications.  Attempted exploitation would only be possible if the malicious individual were able to successfully entice an authorized user to double click and attempt parsing a specifically formatted certificate that had been introduced into the user’s environment. 

However, to prevent even the low probability of success of this type of issue, Symantec engineers have released an update in Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.2 maintenance pack 1 addressing the issue.


Update information

Customers may obtain Symantec Desktop Encryption maintenance updates 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


Symantec thanks Jeremy Brown (jerbrown) of ReSP working through Microsoft Vulnerability Research, MSVR, for reporting this and working with us as we addressed it.




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 67016

Symantec Encryption Desktop Memory Copy Read Access Violation


BID 67020

Symantec Encryption Desktop Block Data Move Read Access Violation




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.
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Last modified on: April 23, 2014
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