Symantec Says Its Own AV Product Has Zero-Day Vulnerability - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

03:59 PM

Symantec Says Its Own AV Product Has Zero-Day Vulnerability

The security vendor says its enterprise anti-virus product line has an unpatched, "zero-day" vulnerability that can be used by attackers to hijack systems.

Symantec acknowledged on Friday that its enterprise anti-virus product line has an unpatched, "zero-day" vulnerability that can be used by attackers to hijack systems.

"Symantec Antivirus is susceptible to a remote code-execution vulnerability. This issue allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM-level privileges, facilitating the complete compromise of affected computers," the company said in an alert Friday to customers of its own DeepSight Threat Management System.

Thursday, security vendor eEye Digital released a preliminary alert that said Symantec AntiVirus 10.x and Symantec Client Security 3.x included a remotely-exploitable vulnerability that could be attacked via a network-style worm which wouldn't require any user interaction to compromise a computer.

In a truncated advisory posted to its own Web site, however, Symantec claimed that none of its Norton-labeled consumer-grade anti-virus titles were at risk. Those products include Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security.

The Cupertino, Calif. security giant also downplayed the risk. "Symantec has not had any reports of any related exploits of this suspected vulnerability," a company spokesman said in an e-mail to TechWeb. "[And] Symantec Product Security is working on providing prompt mitigation solutions for any confirmed issues," he added.

The spokesman, however, would not comment on a timeline to patch the vulnerability nor on any results of its investigation.

"Specific details are being withheld by Symantec and the researchers that found this vulnerability, eEye Digital Security, until updates are available," Symantec said in the DeepSight alert. "This is to prevent development of exploits and malicious code while a fix is pending."

The last time a major security vendor had a vulnerability that was attacked b a no-user-interaction worm was in 2004, when Internet Security Systems' (ISS) BlackICE Firewall was victimized by the "Witty" worm. Within days of the ISS vulnerability being disclosed (and patched), Witty infected 10,000-50,000 systems worldwide, and destroyed data on some enterprise hard drives.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll