[Full-disclosure] iDEFENSE Security Advisory 04.18.05: McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005 Insecure File Permission Vulnerability

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2005-04-19T00:00:00


McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005 Insecure File Permission Vulnerability

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 04.18.05 http://www.idefense.com/application/poi/display?type=vulnerabilities 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 vulnerable.


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.


"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."


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 security problems.


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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Copyright (c) 2005 iDEFENSE, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please email customerservice@idefense.com for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.

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