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


April 18, 2016


4/19/2016 – Modified versions affected to SMG 10.6.0-7 and earlier to properly reflect affected product versions.


Severity (CVSS version 2 and CVSS Version 3)

CVSS2 Base Score

CVSS2 Vector

Symantec Messaging Gateway exposure of stored AD password - Medium



Symantec Messaging Gateway Privilege Shell Escape - Medium



CVSS3 Base Score

CVSS3 Vector

Symantec Messaging Gateway exposure of stored AD password - High



Symantec Messaging Gateway Privilege Shell Escape - High




Symantec Messaging Gateway (SMG) Appliance management console was susceptible to potential recovery of the AD password by any user with at least authorized read access to the appliance. Also, an admin or support user could potentially escalate a lower-privileged access to root on the appliance by escaping their terminal window to a privileged shell. Successful exploitation could result in elevated access to the SMG Appliance management console or to the network environment.

Affected Products





Symantec Messaging Gateway Appliance

10.6.0-7 and earlier


Update to SMG Appliance maintenance release 10.6.1


Symantec was notified of two privilege escalation issues impacting Symantec’s Messaging Gateway Appliance 10.x management console.

An authorized SMG Management console user with at least read-access could potentially locate and decrypt the encrypted AD password stored on the SMG appliance. While encrypted, a determined authorized but malicious user could potentially reverse engineer the encrypted AD password. Recovery of this password would not provide any additional access to the SMG appliance however, it could potentially permit leveraging unauthorized, elevated access to additional resources on the network.

An authorized SMG Management console admin- or support-level user could potentially manipulate code input to the terminal window to escape into a privileged root shell on the console. Successfully gaining a privileged shell could possibly result in unauthorized command execution on or access to the management console and the operating system.

In a typical installation the Symantec Messaging Gateway management interface should not be accessible external to the network environment and access should be restricted to specified users/administrators which would restrict this type of malicious activity to some level of authorized user.

Symantec Response
Symantec product engineers have addressed these issues in SMG Appliance maintenance release 10.6.1. Customers should update to the latest maintenance release as soon as possible to address these issues.

Symantec is not aware of exploitation of or adverse customer impact from this issue.

Update Information

Symantec Mail Gateway Appliance maintenance release 10.6.1 is available through the software update facility.

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. At a minimum, run both firewall and anti-malware applications 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 the detection of attacks or malicious activity related to the exploitation of latent vulnerabilities.


Symantec would like to thank karim reda Fakhir for finding and reporting the access to the stored AD password and working closely with Symantec as it was addressed.

Symantec would like to thank Martin Carpenter with Citco, https://www.citco.com, for reporting the privileged shell escape and working closely with Symantec as it was addressed.


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

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





BID 86137

Symantec Messaging Gateway exposure of stored AD password


BID 86138

Symantec Messaging Gateway Privilege Shell Escape


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: April 18, 2016
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