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Scripting flaws threaten Norton software

ActiveX components vulnerable

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Symantec has released a fix for a pair of potentially troublesome flaws that create a mechanism to turn its Norton security software packages against their owners.

The vulnerabilities have not yet been coded into script-kiddie-friendly packages and Symantec is not aware of any malicious exploitation. But there's no reason for complacency about the "high risk" flaws.

The flaws include a buffer overrun vulnerability in Norton AntiSpam 2004 and a remote command execution vulnerability in Symantec's flagship Norton Internet Security 2004 security suite (Professional and regular). Both vulnerabilities involve ActiveX components which have been marked as safe for scripting.

Security tools firm NGSSoftware, which discovered the flaws, warns: "As the objects have been marked as safe for scripting, they will bypass most of the security settings for Internet Explorer and Outlook/Outlook Express, and will therefore be run automatically."

By tricking users of the affected products into visiting a maliciously-constructed website (perhaps via a spam email) a hacker could execute arbitrary code on a user's PC by calling one of the two flawed objects.

Patches for both Symantec Norton Internet Security and Symantec Norton AntiSpam 2004 are available via Symantec LiveUpdate, the vendor's automatic updating facility. Norton AntiSpam 2004 is sold seperately and as part of Norton Internet Security.

Symantec's advisory can be found here. ®

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