Zero-day flaws found in Symantec's Endpoint Protection

Offensive Security said the flaws could be used to gain full system access

Symantec's Endpoint Protection product has three zero-day flaws that could allow a logged-in user to move to a higher access level on a computer, according to a penetration testing and training company.

The three flaws, all known as privilege escalation vulnerabilities, were found during a security test of a financial services company, said Mati Aharoni, lead trainer and developer for Offensive Security, in a phone interview.

Offensive Security, famous for its Kali Linux penetration testing software, released a short video on Tuesday demonstrating a successful exploit. It plans to preview proof-of-concept code during its "Advanced Windows Exploitation" training class at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next month.

The flaws have been reported to computer emergency response teams. Symantec officials did not have an immediate comment.

The flaws allow greater access to a computer where a person is already logged in. From there, that access can eventually be parlayed into system access, which opens up the potential for other attacks, such as dumping hashes or identifying the cache credentials of domain administrators, Aharoni said.

Offensive Security didn't specifically target Endpoint Security during its penetration test, but realized that if it did have a flaw, it would result in a catastrophic compromise, Aharoni said. Endpoint Protection was running on "hundreds if not thousands of computers" in the financial services company, Aharoni said.

Although it's ironic that a fault in security software gave Offensive Security an opening, it's not unheard of.

"I don't think that security software is any different than anything else," Aharoni said. "The developers of security software aren't necessarily more security aware."

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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