Public Vulnerability Reports

Symantec Scan Engine 5.1.2 RAR File Denial of Service Vulnerability



Symantec Scan Engine is a standalone Anti-Virus Engine that exposes a scanning Application Programming Interface (API) directly to developers who wish to integrate protection into their own custom applications. More information is available on the vendor's site at the following URL.


Remote exploitation of a Denial of Service vulnerability in Symantec Scan Engine version 5.1.2 could allow an unauthenticated attacker to create a denial of service (DoS) condition.

Symantec Scan Engine listens on TCP port 1344 to accept files for scanning using the Internet Content Adaptation Protocol (ICAP). If the service is sent a malformed RAR file, the service will consume massive amounts of memory. This can result in a denial of service condition for the application and operating system.


Exploitation allows remote unauthenticated attackers to cause the process to consume excessive amounts memory. In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must be able to cause a malicious RAR file to be scanned by the Symantec Scan Engine. Normally, no authentication is required to reach the vulnerable code.


iDefense confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in Symantec Scan Engine 5.1.2. This issue affects both the Windows and Linux builds of the product. Previous versions are suspected to be vulnerable.


iDefense is currently unaware of any workaround for this issue.


Symantec has addressed this vulnerability by releasing updates for various versions of the Symantec Scan Engine. For more information, refer to their advisory at the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2008-0308 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


06/14/2007 Initial vendor notification
06/14/2007 Initial vendor response
02/26/2008 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2008 Verisign, Inc.

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