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BugBlog Bug of the Month

Every month the BugBlog picks its Bug of the Month, representing the most significant bug found in the past month. Sometimes, the bug will be the one which could potentially cause the most damage; sometimes it will be the bug which affects the most users. And sometimes, it will be the bug that is just the most interesting bug. This bug will be selected either from the free Bug of the Day, or from the subscription-only BugBlog Plus.

This month the Bug of the Month goes to Symantec, the company that's supposed to keep hostile code off our computers. But as the BugBlog reported on May 29

Symantec says their enterprise line of anti-virus software, Symantec Client Security 3.1 and Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition 10.1, are vulnerable to a stack overflow that may allow both local and remote attackers to run their code on the target computers. Symantec has updated virus signatures to check for attacks that may exploit this. See http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/security/Content/2006.05.25.html for news on updates. Symantec credits eEye Digital Security for finding this bug, which does not affect the consumer-level Norton AntiVirus products.

Actually, this bug could have been worse -- it only affected Symantec's corporate customers, and not their those who use their consumer line of Norton AntiVirus products. The fix was not long in coming, as the 6/1 BugBlog showed

Symantec did not patch every vulnerable build of Symantec Client Security 3.1 and Symantec AntiVirus 10.1 Corporate Edition to the remote attacks first discussed in the 5/29 BugBlog. In some cases, Symantec customers will first need to upgrade to one of the versions that's been patched, and then apply the patch. They have a detailed table at http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ent-security.nsf/docid/2006052609181248 that shows each affected build and what you need to do to eliminate the security problem.

While the bug was quickly fixed, there's been some grumbling over the fact that some users had to move to another version, and there are reports of some incompatibilities with the upgrade and some projects from Scriptlogic. The Internet Storm Center has a round-up on these issues. While these reports don't help Symantec, they are not the main reason they've won the Bug of the Month -- they won for the irony of security software opening up security holes.


Previous Bugs of the Month

May 2006: Microsoft Wins Special Lifetime Achievement Bug Award

April 2006: Adobe Macromedia Flash Player

March 2006: Microsoft Windows Media Player

Feb 2006: Apple QuickTime

Jan 2006: Microsoft WMF Bug

Dec 2005: Sony's Secret DRM Scheme Leaves Users Exposed

November 2005: Four Separate Bugs Leave Windows Open to Takeover

October 2005: Acrobat Screws Up MS Word

September 2005: Apple Security Update Breaks 64-bit Apps

August 2005: Cisco IOS Vulnerable to IPv6 bug

July 2005: RealNetworks Fixes Four Bugs in Their Media Player

June 2005: Flawed Rollout for Netscape 8

May 2005: TCP/IP Fix for Windows

April 2005: Denial of Service against Symantec Norton AntiVirus

March 2005: IDN Spoofing Bug

February 2005: Windows Animated Cursor Bug

January 2005: Windows Firewall Problems with Dial-up connections

The Bug of the Month is also posted at Blogcritics.org