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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Enterprise Security Manager Manager/Agent Local Elevation of Privilege


December 13, 2012








Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

ESM Manager/Agent unquoted search path local elevation of privilege - Medium







Symantec’s Enterprise Security Manager (ESM) for Windows has an unquoted search path in the Manager and Agent components.  This could allow a non-privileged local user, able to successfully insert arbitrary code in the root path, to potentially execute their code with elevated privileges during system startup or reboot. 


Affected Products





Symantec Enterprise Security Manager for Windows

10.x and prior


Install or upgrade managers to CCS 11.0 or later, or, apply Security Update SU44  for Windows ESM Manager and Agent which has a check to fix exiting pre-11 Windows managers and agents.

Symantec Enterprise Security Manager Agent for Windows

10.x and prior


Install or upgrade managers to CCS 11.0 or later, or, apply Security Update SU44  for Windows ESM Manager and Agent which has a check to fix exiting pre-11 Windows managers and agents.

A patched MSI installer for the 10.0 agent is available for new agent installations if upgrade to 11.0 isn’t possible at this time.

Products Not Affected



Symantec Control Compliance Suite for Windows


Symantec Control Compliance Suite and Enterprise Security Manager for Linux and Unix





Symantec was notified of an unquoted search path issue impacting the ESM manager and agents for Windows deployed as part of Symantec’s Enterprise Security Manager. This could potentially allow an authorized but non-privileged local user to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges on the system.  A successful targeting attempt would require the local user to be able to insert their code in the system root path undetected by the OS or other security applications where it could potentially be executed during application startup or reboot.  If successful, the local user’s code would execute with the elevated privileges of the application.

Symantec Response
Symantec product engineers verified the reported issue and have released Security Update SU44 to address this issue.

A patched MSI installer for 10.0 agents is also available for new agent installations if upgrade to 11.0 isn’t possible at this time. Go to https://www.symantec.com/security_response/securityupdates/list.jsp?fid=esm&pvid=pu to download the updated installer

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

Update Information


  • • Download SU44 via LiveUpdate or from the SU44 link provided
  • • Once SU44 is applied,
  • • Run the “Check ESM Service ImagePath” check


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 Gavin Jones with NCC Group Ltd for reporting this issue and coordinating with us as we resolved it.


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 56915

Symantec ESM Manager/Agent unquoted search path



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: December 13, 2012
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