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


July 20, 2012








Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

Remote command execution - High






SQL Injection - High





Arbitrary Password Change - High






Exploit Code Publicly Available: No


Symantec's Web Gateway management console is susceptible to multiple security issues that include remote command execution, local file inclusion, arbitrary password change and SQL injection security issues.    Successful exploitation could result in unauthorized command execution on or access to the management console and backend database.


Product(s) Affected




Symantec Web Gateway


Symantec Web Gateway or later apply database update or later



CERT/CC notified Symantec of multiple security issues impacting the management console of Symantec Web Gateway. The management console does not properly validate external input.  This incomplete input validation could possibly allow unauthorized remote access with the potential of arbitrary command execution on the console. 

Additionally, an unprivileged user with local access to the management console could potentially manipulate local files to further leverage an identified authentication bypass vulnerability possibly resulting in privileged access on the console. 

Arbitrary code could potentially be injected/included in multiple application scripts used by the Symantec Web Gateway application possibly resulting in arbitrary command execution with application privileges.  One such script can be manipulated to allow an unauthorized user to change any authorized user's password, effectively locking out that user and possibly leveraging unauthorized access in the context of the affected user.

Multiple SQL injection issues were also identified. The successful exploitation of these could potentially result in arbitrary SQL command input to the backend database.

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 Database Update to address these issues. Customers should ensure they are on the latest release of Symantec Web Gateway, or later with the Database Update or later.


Obtaining the Update

The security update addressing these issues has been pushed to customers as an immediately available update.  For customers with automatic updating enabled the update will automatically be applied.  Customers that do not have automatic updating enabled will need to manually apply the update by clicking "Check for Updates -> Updates" on the Administration->Updates page for Web Gateway Database Updates and Web Gateway Software Updates.


To confirm customers are running the latest updates they should 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.


NOTE:  Symantec is currently aware that some of these attack vectors and methods as well as proof-of-concept examples may be used in Black Hat 2012 training courses.  However, Symantec is not aware of any malicious activity currently attempting to take advantage of the disclosed vulnerabilities.

Symantec Security Response has released IPS signatures for web attacks against Symantec Web Gateway 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


Offensive Security working through CERT/CC reported local file inclusion, command execution and SQL injection issues.


Tenable Network Security working through CERT/CC also reported local file inclusion, command execution, SQL injection and arbitrary password manipulation issues.



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 54426

command execution


BID 54429

local file inclusion


BID 54424

Blind SQL injection


BID 54425

SQL injection


BID 54427

shell injection


BID 54430

unauthorized/unauthenticated password change



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 20, 2012
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