Public Vulnerability Reports

Symantec Scan Engine 5.1.2 RAR File Buffer Overflow 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 stack based buffer overflow vulnerability in Symantec Scan Engine version 5.1.2 could allow an unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the scan engine process.

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 specially malformed RAR file, a stack-based buffer overflow will occur.


Exploitation allows remote unauthenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the scan engine process. The scan engine can be configured to run either as a normal user or as root. 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 has confirmed this vulnerability in the Linux build of the Symantec Scan Engine version 5.1.2. This issue does not affect the Windows build 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-2008-0309 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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