Symantec antivirus security flaw exposes Linux, Mac and Windows

18 May 2016
Comments Comments Off on Symantec antivirus security flaw exposes Linux, Mac and Windows
18 May 2016, Comments Comments Off on Symantec antivirus security flaw exposes Linux, Mac and Windows

Symantec antivirus security flaw exposes Linux, Mac and Windows

1406048971_Symantec-Logo

 

Security holes in antivirus software are nothing new, but holes that exist across multiple platforms? That’s rare… but it just happened. Google’s Tavis Ormandy has discovered a vulnerability in Symantec’s antivirus engine (used in both Symantec- and Norton-branded suites) that compromises Linux, Mac and Windows computers. If you use an early version of a compression tool to squeeze executables, you can trigger a memory buffer overflow that gives you root-level control over a system.

The kickers are that it’s both easy to launch the exploit and particularly vicious in most cases. As Symantec is intercepting system input and output, you only need to email a file — the victim doesn’t even need to read the email, just the act of AV scanning it is a trigger — or send a web link to wreck someone’s day. And on Windows, an attack compromises the kernel — you know, the very deepest level of the operating system.

The good news? Symantec is taking care of this relatively quickly. Its antivirus suites with LiveUpdate should already have a patch in place. The biggest concern surrounds software that requires a more conventional patching process. There aren’t any known exploits in the wild, but it’s reasonable to presume that Symantec wants to have everything up to date before would-be hackers develop an intrusion technique.

[Source: Engadget]

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