Initial Publication Date: Advisory Status: Advisory Severity: CVSS Base Score:Legacy ID
17 Mar 2009 Closed Medium 4.6 SYM09-003
Symantec pcAnywhere is susceptible to a format string vulnerability. An authorized local user may potentially leverage this to crash the pcAnywhere application, leading to a denial of service.
12.0, 12.1, 12.5
Upgrade to 12.5 SP1
Note: Only the versions listed above are supported. Customers running non-supported versions should upgrade to the above mentioned non-vulnerable version.
Remote Access (adjacent network)
Layered Defense informed Symantec of a format string vulnerability in Symantec pcAnywhere. This issue can be exploited by a malicious user to crash the application causing a denial of service. Successful exploitation requires local machine access.
Symantec engineers verified this issue exists on those supported products identified above. Product updates are available for supported affected products.
Symantec is not aware of any customers impacted by this issue, or of any attempts to exploit it.
Information on downloading and applying the upgrade is available from the following locations:
For Enterprise, Small & Mid-Sized Business (SMB) - Download the update from your normal support location
or, use the LiveUpdate option, if authorized, to install this update
Home and Home Office -
pcAnywhere users who regularly run LiveUpdate should automatically receive an updated (non-vulnerable) version. To ensure all available updates have been applied, users can run a manual LiveUpdate as follows:
Open the Symantec pcAnywhere application
Run LiveUpdate until all available product updates are downloaded and installed
A system reboot may be required before the update takes affect
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 would like to thank Deral Heiland with Layered Defense for reporting this issue and coordinating with us while Symantec resolved it.