McAfee Internet Security Suite Unsafe File Permissions Let Local Users Gain Elevated Privileges
SecurityTracker Alert ID: 1013750|
SecurityTracker URL: http://securitytracker.com/id/1013750
(Links to External Site)
Date: Apr 18 2005
Execution of arbitrary code via local system, Root access via local system|
Fix Available: Yes Vendor Confirmed: Yes Exploit Included: Yes |
iDEFENSE reported a file permission vulnerability in McAfee Internet Security Suite. A local user can gain elevated privileges or disable the security functions.|
The software uses a default file Access Control List (ACL) configuration that permits a local user without Administrator privileges to modify the application files. A local user can modify or replace some of the code components with arbitrary code and then cause the Internet Security Suite to execute the arbitrary code with System privileges.
A local user can also move or delete the executable files to cause the security services to fail to startup at reboot.
The vendor was notified on February 4, 2005.
A local user can modify application files to cause the application to execute arbitrary code with System privileges.|
A local user can also disable the application upon reboot.
The vendor has issued a fix, available via the automatic update feature.|
Vendor URL: www.mcafee.com/ (Links to External Site)
Access control error, Configuration error|
|Underlying OS: Windows (Any)|
Source Message Contents
Subject: iDEFENSE Security Advisory 04.18.05: McAfee Internet Security Suite|
McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005 Insecure File Permission
iDEFENSE Security Advisory 04.18.05
April 18, 2005
McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005 is a product used to protect a
personal computer from virus infections, and additionally provides
firewall and privacy control functionality.
Local exploitation of an insecure permission vulnerability in McAfee
Internet Security Suite 2005 allows attackers to escalate
non-Administrator privileges or disable protection.
The vulnerability specifically exists in the default file Access Control
List (ACL) settings that are applied during installation. When an
administrator installs McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005, the default
ACL allows non-Administrator users to modify the installed files.
Because of the fact that some of the programs run as system services, a
non-Administrator user can simply replace an installed McAfee Internet
Security Suite 2005 file with their own malicious code that will later
be executed with system privileges.
Successful exploitation allows local attackers to escalate privileges to
the system level. It is also possible to use this vulnerability to
simply disable protection by moving all of the executable files so that
they cannot start upon a reboot.
iDEFENSE has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in McAfee
Internet Security Suite 2005. It is suspected earlier versions are also
Apply proper Access Control List settings to the directory that McAfee
Internet Security Suite 2005 is installed in. The ACL rules should make
sure that no regular users can modify files in the directory.
VI. VENDOR RESPONSE
"McAfee has acknowledged this issue and is providing automated fixes for
registered users. This issue affects an extremely small subset of the
McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005 user base as the vast majority of
home users do not use non-Administrator Windows accounts.
Registered McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005 users should have
automatically downloaded and installed high-priority McAfee security
software updates by default, and now have fixes for this vulnerability
installed on their computers.
To manually check for updates, users can right-click the McAfee system
tray icon (white M on red background) and select 'Updates'. In the
resulting dialogue box, they should click 'Check Now' to check the
server for updates. The user will be walked through the update process
or be notified that all software is up to date. If a user has not yet
registered, a registration web page or the registration wizard will
pop-up, guiding the user through the update process.
McAfee's key priority is the security of our customers. In the event
that a vulnerability is found within any of McAfee's software, we have a
strong process in place to work closely with the relevant security
research group to ensure the rapid and effective development of a fix
and communication plan."
VII. CVE INFORMATION
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
names CAN-2005-1107 to these issues. This is a candidate for inclusion
in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for
VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE
02/04/2005 Initial vendor notification
02/07/2005 Initial vendor response
04/18/2005 Coordinated public disclosure
The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.
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X. LEGAL NOTICES
Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc.
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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
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There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
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