Initial Publication Date: Advisory Status: Advisory Severity: CVSS Base Score:Legacy ID
16 May 2016 Closed Critical 9.1 SYM16-008
Symantec's Anti-Virus Engine (AVE) was susceptible to memory access violation due to a flaw when parsing a specifically-crafted PE header file in the kernel. The most common symptom of a successful attack would result in a system crash.
Symantec Anti Virus Engine
Prior to 20126.96.36.199
Update to Symantec Anti-Virus Engine v 20188.8.131.52 via LiveUpdateTM
malformed PE header parser memory access violation
Symantec was notified of a critical issue in the Antivirus Scan Engine when parsing incoming malformed portable-executable (PE) header files. Parsing routine of crafted malformed file could be triggered through incoming email attachment or deliberate download. The most common symptom of successful exploitation resulted in an immediate system crash from memory access violation in the kernel.
Symantec product engineers have addressed this in the latest AVE update, version 20184.108.40.206 release effective 5/16/2016 delivered to customers via LiveUpdateTM along with the usual definition and signature updates.
Norton Security and Symantec Enterprise products with default scheduled LiveUpdateTM should have received an updated fix.
Users could manually launch and run LiveUpdate™ in Interactive mode as follows:
Access LiveUpdateTM in the product
Run LiveUpdateTM until all available updates are downloaded and installed
Symantec is not aware of exploitation of or adverse customer impact from this issue.
As part of normal best practices, Symantec strongly recommends the following:
Restrict access to administrative or management systems to authorized 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 potential exploit.
Keep all operating systems and applications current with vendor patches.
Follow a multi-layered approach to security. At a minimum, run both firewall and anti-malware applications 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 the detection of attacks or malicious activity related to the exploitation of latent vulnerabilities.
Symantec would like to thank Tavis Ormandy with Google's Project Zero, for reporting this to us and working with us as we addressed the issue.
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