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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Symantec PGP Desktop & Encryption Desktop Compressed Mail
2 September 2014
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Symantec PGP Desktop
Symantec Encryption Desktop
Operating System: Windows
Impact/Access: Denial of Service -- Remote/Unauthenticated
CVE Names: CVE-2014-3436
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Security Advisories Relating to Symantec Products - Symantec Encryption
Desktop Compressed Mail File Denial-of-Service
August 21, 2014
CVSS2 Base Score Impact Exploitability CVSS2 Vector
Symantec Encryption Desktop Compressed Mail File Denial-of-Service - Medium
5.0 2.9 9.9 AV:N/AC:L/AU:N/C:N/I:N/A:P
Certain encryption applications permit compression directly in the message
body of an encrypted email file. Symantec Encryption Desktop will attempt
decompression and decryption of these specifically formatted incoming email
files without properly limiting maximum file size during the decompression
process. Decryption of an excessively large compressed message could cause
high memory and CPU usage resulting in a denial-of-service (DoS) as the system
becomes unresponsive during the decompression attempt.
Product Version Build Solution
Symantec PGP Desktop 10.0.x All Symantec Encryption Desktop
10.1.x 10.3.2 Maintenance Pack 3
Symantec Encryption 10.3.0 All Symantec Encryption Desktop
10.3.1 10.3.2 Maintenance Pack
Symantec was notified that Symantec Encryption Desktop is susceptible to
creating a DoS condition on a client system when decrypting a specifically
formatted/compressed incoming encrypted email message. Symantec Encryption
Desktop fails to properly limit decompressed file size during the decryption
process. Certain encryption applications allow compression directly in the
encrypted mail file which is decrypted and decompressed by Symantec Encrypted
Desktop on receipt by the mail client. A malicious individual can encrypt a
specifically formatted and encrypted email message and send it to a targeted
user. Depending on the option setting for the mail client, Symantec Encryption
Desktop will attempt the decryption process upon receipt of the malformed
email without user intervention. By not properly restricting size limitations
during the decompression portion of the decryption, this could result in
excessive CPU and memory usage. Successful exploitation of this issue could
cause a system to become unresponsive and potentially crash.
Symantec engineers verified this issue and have released an update in Symantec
Encryption Desktop 10.3.2 MP3.
Customers may obtain Symantec Desktop Encryption maintenance updates through
their normal Symantec support locations.
As part of normal best practices, Symantec strongly recommends:
Restrict access to administration or management systems to privileged users.
Disable remote access if not required or restrict it to trusted/authorized
Where possible, limit exposure of application and web interfaces to
trusted/internal networks only.
Keep all operating systems and applications updated with the latest vendor
Follow a multi-layered approach to security. Run both firewall and
anti-malware applications, at a minimum, to provide multiple points of
detection and protection to both inbound and outbound threats.
Deploy network and host-based intrusion detection systems to monitor network
traffic for signs of anomalous or suspicious activity. This may aid in
detection of attacks or malicious activity related to exploitation of latent
Symantec would like to thank Alexander Klink, n.runs professionals GmbH, for
reporting the issue and working with Symantec as it was addressed.
BID: Security Focus, http://www.securityfocus.com, has assigned a Bugtraq ID
(BID) to this issue for inclusion in the Security Focus vulnerability
CVE: This issue is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list
(http://cve.mitre.org), which standardizes names for security problems.
CVE BID Description
CVE-2014-3436 BID 69259 Symantec Encryption Desktop Compressed Mail
Symantec takes the security and proper functionality of our products very
seriously. As founding members of the Organization for Internet Safety
(OISafety), Symantec supports and follows responsible disclosure guidelines.
Please contact email@example.com if you feel you have discovered a security
issue in a Symantec product. A member of the Symantec Product Security team
will contact you regarding your submission to coordinate any required
response. Symantec strongly recommends using encrypted email for reporting
vulnerability information to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Symantec Product
Security PGP key can be found at the location below.
Symantec has developed a Product Vulnerability Response document outlining the
process we follow in addressing suspected vulnerabilities in our products.
This document is available below.
Symantec Vulnerability Response Policy
Symantec Product Vulnerability Management PGP Key Symantec Product
Vulnerability Management PGP Key
Copyright (c) 2014 by Symantec Corp.
Permission to redistribute this alert electronically is granted as long as it
is not edited in any way unless authorized by Symantec Product Security.
Reprinting the whole or part of this alert in any medium other than
electronically requires permission from email@example.com
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.
Symantec, Symantec products, Symantec Product Security, and
firstname.lastname@example.org are registered trademarks of Symantec Corp. and/or
affiliated companies in the United States and other countries. All other
registered and unregistered trademarks represented in this document are the
sole property of their respective companies/owners.
* Signature names may have been updated to comply with an updated IPS
Signature naming convention. See
for more information.
Last modified on: August 21, 2014
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