Initial Publication Date: Advisory Status: Advisory Severity: CVSS Base Score:Legacy ID
2 May 2014 Closed High 7.6 SYM14-008
Symantec Critical System Protection SCSP, Windows version, default policy settings can be susceptible to policy bypass when installed on an out-of-the-box unpatched windows server. While this is not in any way a normal installation, it could permit unauthorized access to information stored on the targeted system. The individual could also possibly acquire elevated access on a targeted unpatched system running earlier versions of SCSP for Windows.
Symantec Critical System Protection
Windows version of SCSP 5.2.8 and prior
Upgrade to SCSP 5.2.9 or Symantec Data Center Security (SDCS):SA 6.0 agents and policies
Additional Product Information
Symantec Critical System Protection/Data Center Security
Linux and Unix
Symantec does not believe that this bypass represents Symantec Critical System Protection (SCSP) vulnerability. The policy bypass described in this advisory was targeted against an unpatched installation of a Windows 2003 R2 server which should never be part of a normal installation in any network environment. The researcher was able to bypass default Symantec Critical System Protection (SCSP) policy settings and fully compromise the unpatched server. Symantec does feel however, this is an indication that the default policies for SCSP required further enhancements to provide a greater level of protection in the case of an unsafe installation of a windows server on a network.
Symantec Critical System Protection for Windows Default Policy Bypass
Symantec was notified of testing done against an unpatched Windows 2003 R2 system running an earlier version of SCSP as the only protection against external attacks implemented by the researcher. Testing in this environment against various SCSP out-of-the-box policy configurations, the researcher was able, in most instances, to successfully bypass SCSP policies during his staged attacks. He was successful in gaining access to data on the system and, depending on the SCSP policy enabled and configuration tested, the researcher was at times able to acquire elevated access on the targeted system.
Attack attempts identified in the research generally would require enticing an authenticated user to browse to a malicious web site or click on a malicious HTML link in an email in order to attempt to compromise the targeted system.
In a normal installation, a server protected by SCSP should neither be unpatched nor be externally accessible from the network environment in this manner. However, an authorized but unprivileged network user or an external attacker able to successfully leverage network access or entice a user to visit a malicious site could attempt to exploit these issues.
This submission, while done in a configuration that would not normally be seen in any secure business environment, further confirmed improvements of existing SCSP agent features and out-of-the-box policy configurations were required. Symantec updated default policies to address these type of issues in SCSP 5.2.9 or higher. Symantec Data Center Security: Server Advanced 6.0 provides additional out-of-the-box hardening features with the inclusion of whitelisting capabilities.
Symantec knows of no exploitation of or adverse customer impact from this.
Symantec Data Center Security: Server Advanced 6.0 is available through normal support channels.
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 appreciates the work of Sanehdeep Singh, firstname.lastname@example.org, for the research he provided and for reporting his findings in Symantec Critical System Protection.
BID:Security Focus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned Bugtraq ID (BID) to this issue for inclusion in the Security Focus vulnerability database.
CVE:This issue is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems.
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