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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Encryption Desktop Unquoted Search Path


August 1, 2013


8/2/2013 – updated the affected version of 10.3.0 to all builds prior to 10.3.0 MP3 and added 10.3.0 MP3 or later to the solution




Base Score



CVSS2 Vector

PGP Client RDDService unquoted search path - Medium






Affected Products





Symantec PGP Desktop





Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 MP3 or later

Symantec Encryption Desktop


All prior to 10.3.0 MP3

Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 MP3 or later


Products Not Affected



Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 MP3 and later




Symantec PGP and Symantec Encryption Desktop client has an unquoted search path in RDDService.  This could provide a non-privileged local user the ability to successfully insert arbitrary code in the root path. 



Symantec was notified of an unquoted search path issue impacting the RDDService deployed in Symantec PGP and Encryption Desktop clients.  An authorized but non-privileged local user could potentially leverage this to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges on the system.  A successful 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
The vulnerable RDDService is no longer used in Symantec Encryption Desktop.  Symantec engineers have removed this service from Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 MP3 and later releases.  Symantec recommends upgrading to the latest version of Symantec Encryption Desktop.

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


Update Information

Updates are available through customer's normal download locations.


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 Sean McCarthy - NCC Group,
http://www.nccgroup.com, for reporting this issue and working with us.




BID: Security Focus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned a Bugtraq ID (BID) to this issue for inclusion in the Security Focus vulnerability database.


CVE: The issue is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems.








Symantec Encryption  Desktop RDDService 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: August 1, 2013
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