1. Symantec/
  2. Security Response/
  3. Security Updates Detail

Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Message Filter Security Issues


June 26, 2012

Symantec Message Filter Security Issues

Revision History

7/5/2012 Affected products updated to reflect all version prior to SMF 6.3




Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

Session Fixation - High





Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) - High





Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Session Hijacking - Medium





Information Disclosure - Medium







Symantec’s Message Filter management interface, the Brightmail Control Center, is susceptible to a number of security concerns resulting from improper input validation and authentication.  Successful exploitation of these issues could result in unauthorized privileged access to the application, execution of unauthorized scripts in the context of the targeted user’s browser or disclosure of application versioning information that could potentially be leveraged in further exploitation attempts.


Product(s) Affected




Symantec Message Filter

6.3 and prior

Upgrade to the latest 6.3 release and apply smf_630_p231 patch

or migrate to Symantec Messaging Gateway


NOTE:  Symantec Message Filter is End-of-Support Life for Enterprise and SMB customers with this update release.  Symantec strongly recommends Enterprise and SMB customers still using this legacy product migrate to the latest release of Symantec Messaging Gateway for continued support and enhanced security



Symantec was notified of multiple security issues impacting the management interface of the Symantec Message Filter application. The application does not properly control access to the listening port or effectively filter external input passed to the management interface.  This could allow unauthorized access to versioning information of various components installed with the application.  This type of information disclosure/reconnaissance could potentially be leveraged in further exploit attempts to exploit the targeted application. 

As a result of inadequate session management, an unauthorized network user or an attacker who is able to leverage access to the network could potential hijack the session of an authorized user’s, normally the Symantec Message Filter administrator, session by capturing and reusing the user’s authorized session identifier.  If successful, an authorized user’s session could allow the attacker to modify or disable the application.   

The Symantec Message Filter management interface is also susceptible to cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery attempts.  Both cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery are trust issues requiring the attacker to entice an authenticated application user to click on a malicious link either in a malicious URL or HTML email. A successful exploitation of the cross-site scripting, depending on the nature of the link, could potentially result in arbitrary javascript/html requests and scripts executed in the context of the browser of the targeted user. Successful exploitation of the cross-site request forgery could potentially allow the attacker to execute arbitrary commands on the application such as creating an unauthorized backdoor access by creating an unauthorized admin account for the application.

In a normal installation, the Symantec Message Filter management console would not be accessible external to the network.  However, an authorized but unprivileged network user who is able to access the application on the network could attempt to exploit these weaknesses.  An external attacker able to leverage network access or entice an authorized user to click on a malicious URL could potentially be successful in exploiting some of these issues. 



Symantec Response

Symantec engineers verified these issues and have released an update to address them. Symantec engineers reviewed related functionality to further enhance the overall security of Symantec Message Filter. Symantec has released Symantec Message Filter 6.3 smf_630_p231 patch, http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH191487, currently available to customers.


Symantec strongly encourages customers still using the Brightmail Control Center interface to Symantec Message Filter to apply the update as soon as possible to prevent attempts of this nature.  Symantec Message Filter is End-of-Support Life for Enterprise and SMB customers with this update release..  Symantec highly recommends Enterprise and SMB customers migrate to Symantec’s Messaging Gateway.


Symantec is not aware of any exploitation of, or adverse customer impact from these issues.

Best Practices


As part of normal best practices, Symantec strongly recommends:

  • Restrict access to administration or management systems to privileged users.
  • Disable remote access or restrict it to trusted/authorized systems 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 credits Ben Williams with NGS Secure, www.ngssecure.com  for reporting these issues to us and coordinating with us as we resolved them.




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


BID 54136 to the information disclosure

BID 54135 to the session fixation

BID 54134 to the XSS

BID 54133 to the CSRF

CVE: These issues are candidates for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems. The following CVE IDs have been assigned.


CVE-2012-0300 to the information disclosure

CVE-2012-0301 to the session fixation

CVE-2012-0302 to the XSS

CVE-2012-0303 to the CSRF


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: June 26, 2012
Security Response Blog
The State of Spam