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Thread: Symantec Antivirus Software Has Flaw

  1. #1
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    Researchers: Antivirus Software Has Flaw
    By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer
    Thursday, May 25, 2006


    Symantec Corp.'s leading antivirus software, which protects some of the world's largest corporations and U.S. government agencies, suffers from a flaw that lets hackers seize control of computers to steal sensitive data, delete files or implant malicious programs, researchers said Thursday.

    Symantec said it was investigating the issue but could not immediately corroborate the vulnerability. If confirmed, the threat to computer users would be severe because the security software is so widely used, and because no action is required by victims using the latest versions of Norton Antivirus to suffer a crippling attack over the Internet.

    Symantec has boasted its antivirus products are installed on more than 200 million computers. A spokesman, Mike Bradshaw, said the company was examining the reported flaw but described it as "so new that we don't have any details."

    Researchers from eEye Digital Security Inc. of Aliso Viejo, Calif., discovered the vulnerability and provided evidence to Symantec engineers this week, said eEye's chief hacking officer, Marc Maiffret. He demonstrated the attack for The Associated Press.

    Maiffret's company — which has discovered hundreds of similar flaws in other software products — also produces intrusion-protection software, called "Blink," that he said already blocks such attacks and can operate alongside Symantec's antivirus products.

    Maiffret published a note about the company's discovery on its Web site but pledged not to reveal details publicly that would help hackers attack Internet users until after Symantec repairs its antivirus software. eEye said it intends to describe the problem in detail privately for some of its largest customers.

    "People shouldn't panic," Maiffret said. "There shouldn't be any exploits until a patch is produced."

    The reported flaw comes at an awkward time for Symantec. Its chief executive, John Thompson, has campaigned in recent months to convince consumers they should trust Symantec — not Microsoft Corp. — to protect their personal information.

    Maiffret said eEye's testing showed the problem affects Norton Antivirus Version 10, including its corporate editions. He said Symantec's current security suite — which includes both antivirus and firewall features — did not appear to be vulnerable.

    Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...d=rss.business
    Last edited by tesco; 05-26-2006 at 08:20 PM.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

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    Yoga's Avatar \ ( ^ 0 ^ ) / BT Rep: +8BT Rep +8
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    Well this wounldn't be the first time

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    Virtualbody1234's Avatar Forum Star BT Rep: +2
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    So let me get this straight. A company named Maiffret says that the AntiVirus doesn't protect computers from attack but their intrusion-protection software, called "Blink," does?

    Does any other product from Symantec protect against such attacks? Let me guess... Maybe their firewall?

    Why would we trust some unknown company (Maiffret) when they accuse an AntiVirus of not being able to do the job of a Firewall?

  4. News (Archive)   -   #4
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    I think it entirely plausable that eEye are telling the truth about discovering a vulnerability. Making their finding public (but not detailing) makes their competitors look bad....it's hardball business practice.
    If it turns out that there is no vulnerability then eEye will have lost credibility in the field.

    I would be amazed if Symantec wouldn't have done the same thing.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  5. News (Archive)   -   #5
    Virtualbody1234's Avatar Forum Star BT Rep: +2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vidcc
    I think it entirely plausable that eEye are telling the truth about discovering a vulnerability. Making their finding public (but not detailing) makes their competitors look bad....it's hardball business practice.
    If it turns out that there is no vulnerability then eEye will have lost credibility in the field.

    I would be amazed if Symantec wouldn't have done the same thing.
    Maybe so but there is a difference between a Firewall and AntiVirus software.

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    peat moss's Avatar Software Farmer BT Rep: +15BT Rep +15BT Rep +15
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    I got an update this morning which addresses this . Was pretty interested as I have Symantec Client Security 3.1 and Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 10.1 . Story here :

    http://www.crn.com/sections/breaking...leId=188500757
    Last edited by peat moss; 05-26-2006 at 11:51 PM.

  7. News (Archive)   -   #7
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtualbody1234
    Maybe so but there is a difference between a Firewall and AntiVirus software.
    I think it was the fact that the antivirus software had the vulnerability that would enable an attack, not that it was unable to block an attack.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  8. News (Archive)   -   #8
    peat moss's Avatar Software Farmer BT Rep: +15BT Rep +15BT Rep +15
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    I think the impressive thing is it was patched in a day , I read this story on Thursday and Friday brings a patch . Hm-mm see no reason to change firewall or Anti-virus myself .
    Last edited by peat moss; 05-27-2006 at 12:48 AM.

  9. News (Archive)   -   #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Virtualbody1234
    So let me get this straight. A company named Maiffret says that the AntiVirus doesn't protect computers from attack but their intrusion-protection software, called "Blink," does?

    Does any other product from Symantec protect against such attacks? Let me guess... Maybe their firewall?

    Why would we trust some unknown company (Maiffret) when they accuse an AntiVirus of not being able to do the job of a Firewall?
    Not making the details of the exploit public is what separates them from Grey hats.
    Customer: "I want to download the Internet. Do I need a bigger hard disk?"

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