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TUCoPS :: Security App Flaws :: hack1892.htm

Symantec Multiple Firewall DNS Response Denial-of-Service
EEYE: Symantec Multiple Firewall DNS Response Denial-of-Service

Symantec Multiple Firewall DNS Response Denial-of-Service

Release Date:
May 12, 2004

Date Reported:
April 19, 2004

High (Remote Denial of Service)


Systems Affected:
Symantec Norton Internet Security 2002
Symantec Norton Internet Security 2003
Symantec Norton Internet Security 2004
Symantec Norton Internet Security Professional 2002
Symantec Norton Internet Security Professional 2003
Symantec Norton Internet Security Professional 2004
Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2002
Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2003
Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2004 
Symantec Client Firewall 5.01, 5.1.1 
Symantec Client Security 1.0, 1.1, 2.0(SCF 7.1)
Symantec Norton AntiSpam 2004

eEye Digital Security has discovered a second vulnerability in the
Symantec firewall product line that can be remotely exploited to cause a
severe denial-of-service condition on systems running a default
installation of an affected version of the product. By sending a single
malicious DNS (UDP port 53) response packet to a vulnerable host, an
attacker can cause the Symantec DNS response validation code to enter an
infinite loop within the kernel, amounting to a system freeze that
requires the machine to be physically rebooted in order to restore

Technical Description:
The SYMDNS.SYS driver included in these products validates each DNS
response packet before allowing it through the firewall, attempting to
reassemble a DNS answer name into a single dotted string as part of this
process. Although not as hot as Barns's and Karl's stack overflow in the
same routine, there is also a denial-of-service vulnerability in the
name component concatention code involving the processing of compressed
name pointers (name component with a length byte >= 40h, as far as
SYMDNS is concerned, followed by the offset of the name component to
substitute in place of the pointer). Specifically, if a compressed name
pointer is constructed that points to itself, this routine will loop
infinitely as it forever follows the compressed name pointer, to the
compressed name pointer, to the compressed name pointer...

The following is a DNS response packet containing such a pointer:

Offset  Size    Data            Description
------- ------- --------------- --------------------------------
0000h   WORD    xx xx           Transaction ID
0002h   WORD    80 00           Flags (bit 15: response)
0004h   WORD    00 01           Number of questions
0006h   WORD    00 01           Number of answer RRs
0008h   WORD    xx xx           Number of authority RRs
000Ah   WORD    xx xx           Number of additional RRs
000Ch   WORD    C0 0C           Compressed name pointer to itself

By sending an attack packet to any open UDP port on a vulnerable system,
from a source port of 53, the vulnerable code will be reached and the
denial-of-service condition will occur.

Retina Network Security Scanner has been updated to identify this

Vendor Status:
Symantec has released a patch for this vulnerability. The patch is
available via the Symantec LiveUpdate service. For more information
please refer to the Symantec security advisory. 05.1

Discovery: Barnaby Jack, Karl Lynn, Derek Soeder

Related Links:
Retina Network Security Scanner - Free 15 Day Trial 

D12/2, Ink, AiC, "Screenshot guy"(tm), and we would also like to thank
our contact Mike over at Symantec for being patient and cooperative
throughout the reporting process.

Copyright (c) 1998-2004 eEye Digital Security
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eEye Digital Security 

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