Public Vulnerability Reports

Symantec Norton Ghost 10 Recovery Points Insecure Password Storage Vulnerability



Symantec Norton Ghost is a backup and recovery application designed to allow users to completely restore their systems to previous snapshots. More information can be found from the vendor's site at the following URL.


Norton Ghost allows administrators and other power users to schedule snapshots of local disks for backup and recovery purposes. If these recovery points are set to save to a remote network share Ghost will prompt the user to enter a user name and password for the share.

Password information entered into Ghost for this purpose is encrypted and saved to the local file system in the applications home directory which has read access allowed for all users.

The encryption key used by Ghost to decrypt these stored credentials is derived from the MD5 hash of the plain text user name stored in the configuration file. Since every user on the system has read access to these configuration files, any user can decrypt the stored passwords.


This vulnerability is the result of insecure encryption utilization plus insecure file permissions.

In order for this exploit to have an impact, administrators would either have to configure client machines to save restore points images to a private share, or the vulnerable machine would have to be shared by several users who each saved their restore points images to private shares.


iDefense verified the existence of this vulnerability on Norton Ghost 10.0. Other versions may be vulnerable as well.


If your current backup policy is vulnerable to this exploit scenario one possible work around is to configure client machines to save images to user network shares so that the configuration files only contain the individual users network credentials.


Symantec has addressed this vulnerability with a software update. The update is available via their LiveUpdate channels. For more information, consult their advisory at the following URL.


A Mitre Corp. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) number has not been assigned yet.


01/02/2007 Initial vendor notification
03/21/2007 Second vendor notification
03/22/2007 Initial vendor response
04/26/2007 Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by Pravus.

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Copyright © 2007 Verisign, Inc.

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