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iDEFENSE Security Advisory 10.20.05: Symantec Norton AntiVirus LiveUpdate Local Privilege Escalation
From: "iDEFENSE Labs" <labs-no-reply () idefense com>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 17:35:10 -0400

Symantec Norton AntiVirus LiveUpdate Local Privilege Escalation

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 10.20.05
www.idefense.com/application/poi/display?id=324&type=vulnerabilities
October 20, 2005

I. BACKGROUND

Symantec's Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh is an antivirus solution for
the Mac OS X environment. More information is available at the link
shown:

  http://www.symantec.com/nav/nav_mac/

II. DESCRIPTION

Local exploitation of a design error in the LiveUpdate component of
Symantec Corp.'s Norton Antivirus 9.0 for Macintosh may allow a user to
gain elevated privileges.

The vulnerability specifically exists in the permissions on the
"/Library/Application Support/Norton Solutions
Support/LiveUpdate/jlucaller" binary which appears to be a Java
interpreter. This binary is setuid, meaning it will run with the
permissions of the owner, and is owned by the System Administrator,
which is equivalent to the Unix root user. A user can simply compile a
Java program and provide it as an argument to this binary, and it will 
execute with root level privileges.

III. ANALYSIS

Successful exploitation allows a local attacker to execute arbitrary
commands as the System Administrator user. This allows complete system
compromise including the installation and removal of applications, and
ability to read and write any file on the system.

IV. DETECTION

iDEFENSE has confirmed this vulnerability exists in version 9.0.3 of
Norton Antivirus for Macintosh.

V. WORKAROUND

Unsetting the setuid bit from the "/Library/Application Support/Norton
Solutions Support/LiveUpdate/jlucaller" binary will prevent
exploitation, but may require that updates be performed as the System
Administrator user.

chmod -s "/Library/Application Support/Norton Solutions
Support/LiveUpdate/jlucaller"

VI. VENDOR RESPONSE

The vendor has released the following advisory for this issue:

 http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/security/Content/2005.10.19a.html

VII. CVE INFORMATION

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CAN-2005-2759 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for
security problems.

VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE

08/31/2005 Initial vendor notification
08/31/2005 Initial vendor response
10/20/2005 Coordinated public disclosure

IX. CREDIT

DigitalMunition.com is credited with reporting this vulnerability.

Get paid for vulnerability research
http://www.idefense.com/poi/teams/vcp.jsp

Free tools, research and upcoming events
http://labs.idefense.com

X. LEGAL NOTICES

Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
email customerservice () idefense com for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect,
or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on,
this information.

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