Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 08 July 2016 15:47

Google finds Symantec-Norton security holes Featured

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Google has found holes in Norton Security, Norton 360 and legacy products, Symantec Endpoint Protection, Symantec email security, Symantec Protection Engine and Symantec SharePoint server protection. There may be more.

Google’s Project Zero found the flaws and stated, “These vulnerabilities are as bad as it gets. They don’t require any user interaction, they affect the default configuration, and the software runs at the highest privilege levels possible. In certain cases, on Windows, vulnerable code is even loaded into the kernel, resulting in remote kernel memory corruption. As Symantec use the same core engine across their entire product line, all Symantec and Norton-branded antivirus products are affected by these vulnerabilities.”

Norton was quick to react. Patches for its cloud-based products has started and legacy installed products will be patched shortly. Importantly, there are no known exploits at this time, but it won’t take long for cybercriminals to exploit any unpatched systems.

Symantec has published customer advisories here.

Before you go tsk, tsk, and damn Symantec remember that nothing is secure – no computer, smartphone, tablet, IoT device, router …

That is why the security industry loves white hats, bug bounties, and obviously Google’s Project Zero. Exploitations require high levels of sophistication, but no doubt cybercriminals will shortly exploit them. Patched Symantec/Norton products will be safe, but Luddites who don’t update will not be.

Google has also found issues with Comodo, ESET, Kaspersky, FireEye, McAfee and hundreds more.

The US Department of Homeland Security has issued an alert,  warning “Symantec and Norton-branded antivirus products contain multiple vulnerabilities. Some of these products are in widespread use throughout government and industry. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system. Update now.”

Comment

Another day, another vulnerability. I am told that one of the issues is related to core code written more than seven years ago.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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