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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Endpoint Protection Management Consoles Multiple Issues


December 10, 2012



12/11/2012 – Clarification that SNAC issue is a client-side issue. Updated information concerning SNAC 12.1 not being activated unless an SNAC license is applied to the client.

12/14/2012 – Revising the SEPM/SPC PHP Script details and description base on additional analysis. Successful targeting requires the attacker to have authorized network access and have or have access to an active account on the management console. Added some recommended mitigations.





Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

SEPM/SPC PHP Script Insufficient Validation Remote Code Execution - High





SNAC Unquoted search path local code execution  - Medium






The management console in Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager (SEPM) and Symantec Protection Center (SPC) for SEP 12.0 Small Business Edition, contains PHP scripts that do not properly validate external input.  This could potentially result in remote code execution. 

Symantec Network Access Control (SNAC) contains an unquoted search path that could potentially permit local code execution and possible elevation of privilege.


Affected Products

SEPM PHP Script Insufficient Validation Remote Code Execution - High





Symantec Endpoint Protection(Management Console)



Upgrade to SEP 11.0 RU7-MP3 SEP 12.1RU2

Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition(Management Console)



Upgrade to SEP12.1 RU2

Symantec Endpoint Protection(Management Console)



Upgrade to SEP 12.1 RU2

SNAC Unquoted path potential arbitrary execution

Symantec Network Access Control



Upgrade to SEP 12.1 RU2

NOTE: In SEP12.1, The SNAC service is set to manual unless/until an SNAC license is applied to the via the management server.


Products Not Affected By the SNAC Unquoted Path issue




Symantec Endpoint Protection


Symantec Network Access Control




Symantec was notified of vulnerabilities in the PHP scripts in the Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager (Symantec Protection Center for SEP 12.0 Small Business Edition). Insufficient validation is done on external input in these scripts. This could allow an authorized network user or an unauthorized individual who can gain access to the network to attempt to leverage this issue to elevate privileges on the SEPM/SPC server via the web-based management console. A successful attack requires access to an valid and active login on the console to attempt. There are two potential scenario for a successful exploitation.

1) One would require an authorized but limited privileged user with access to an active account on the management console. This user can execute unwarranted PHP commands via the browser if an authorized user session is available.


2) An unauthorized user, with network access or able to leverage network access, who can gain unauthorized access to an active SEPM login session for the management console. This user could leverage these PHP scripts to establish unauthorized access to or additional privileges on the targeted server.

There are suggestions provided below to minimize the existence of an active SEPM login session

Symantec Network Access Control, shipped as an optional add-on to Symantec Endpoint Protection, contains an unquoted search path that could allow a local user to execute arbitrary code.  The local user would need to be able to place their executable in the root path to be executed during application startup. 


In a recommended installation, the Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager, or Symantec Protection Center, should be hosted behind the corporate firewall with restricted external access.  Normal access to the system hosting SEPM or SPC should be restricted to privileged users as a security best practice.  If it is necessary to deploy SEPM or SPC outside the corporate network, Symantec strongly recommends configuring client/server communication only and blocking all access to the management console.

Symantec Response

Symantec product engineers verified the reported issues and resolved these issues in the Symantec Endpoint Protection or Symantec Network Access Control releases identified above.

Update Information

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


  • • Do not leave logged in SEPM/SPC consoles unattended without logging out
  • • SEPM/SPC have a default automatic logout after a one hour idle period. This can be adjusted in the SEPM “Site/Properties” for a much shorter timeout for SEP 11.x and SEP 12.1.x which is recommended
  • • Provide only trusted/privileged individuals with SEPM/SPC accounts

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

  • • Restrict access to administration or management systems to 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   exploit by threats.
  • • 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 a
n anonymous contributor working with Beyond Security's SecuriTeam Secure Disclosure program for reporting the php script issues in Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager.

 Symantec credits Gavin Jones with NCC Group Ltd for reporting the unquoted search path in Symantec Network Access Control


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 56846

SEPM PHP Script Validation Remote Code Execution


BID 56847

SNAC Unquoted search path local code execution





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.
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Last modified on: December 10, 2012
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