Install patches to avoid problems, NetBackup users told

Users of Symantec Veritas NetBackup software are being advised to immediately update their systems with newly-created patches that repair several serious security vulnerabilities that could allow remote intruders to gain access to affected systems and execute arbitrary code.

In an announcement Wednesday, Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec Corp. said the software patches are available for Symantec Veritas NetBackup Master versions 6.0, 5.1 and 5.0, Media Servers and clients and for Storage Migrator for Unix versions 6.0, 5.1 and 5.0.

Symantec rated the severity of the vulnerabilities as “high,” depending on a user’s configuration.

Two of the problems involve buffer overflow vulnerabilities identified in the NetBackup bpcd daemon running on Symantec Veritas NetBackup Enterprise Servers, NetBackup Server and client systems as well as on Storage Migrator for Unix, according to Symantec.

“The overflows occur due to a failure to do proper input validation of incoming data,” according to the statement. “A remote attacker who successfully gains network access to an affected system and successfully passes a specifically crafted packet through one of the identified vectors to this vulnerable daemon could potentially execute arbitrary code with elevated privilege on the targeted system.”

The field report on the problem was first reported by security researchers at network intrusion prevention system vendor TippingPoint, a division of 3Com Corp.

The other problem repaired by the patches is a programming logic error in how the bpcd daemon handles incoming system commands. That flaw could allow a remote attacker to append commands to a valid command and potentially run arbitrary code with elevated privileges on the targeted system, according to Symantec. That vulnerability was reported by IBM Internet Security Systems.

Symantec said it has received no reports of any of the vulnerabilities being exploited so far.

“If customers have followed recommended installations of the affected products and have configured their systems accordingly, the likelihood of customer impact is dramatically reduced,” Vincent Weafer, senior director of Symantec Security Response, said in a statement e-mailed to Computerworld today. “Now is an ideal time for our customers to apply the fixes Symantec provided, as there are no known exploits of the vulnerabilities.”

The vendor issued a TechAlert on the subject with more information on how to update the software. Additional details are also available at Symantec’s Security Response Web site.

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