Security Experts:

Serious Vulnerabilities Found in McAfee Enterprise Product

Intel Security’s McAfee VirusScan Enterprise product for Linux is affected by ten vulnerabilities, including serious flaws that can be chained for remote code execution with root privileges.

Researcher Andrew Fasano reported the vulnerabilities to Intel Security via CERT/CC in June, but users were only informed about the availability of patches late last week.

Fasano identified a wide range of vulnerabilities, including information disclosure, special element injection, cross-site request forgery (CSRF), cross-site scripting (XSS), remote code execution, privilege escalation, authentication brute-force, SQL injection, and arbitrary file write issues.

Intel Security has classified four of the flaws as having high severity, while the rest have been rated medium severity. According to the researcher, four of the security holes can be chained to achieve remote code execution with root privileges.

The attack starts with a flaw that allows the remote use of authentication tokens (CVE-2016-8022) that have been brute-forced (CVE-2016-8023). The attacker then deploys a malicious update server and leverages CVE-2016-8022 to configure the product to use that server.

An arbitrary file write vulnerability (CVE-2016-8021) can then be exploited to create a malicious script obtained from the update server. This flaw can also be combined with a privilege escalation (CVE-2016-8020) that enables the attacker to obtain root permissions. It’s worth noting that the main scanner service in McAfee VirusScan Enterprise runs as root.

Finally, the attacker can execute the malicious script as root on the system. The researcher has published proof-of-concept (PoC) code for this exploit chain.

According to Intel Security, the vulnerabilities affect VirusScan Enterprise for Linux (VSEL) 2.0.3 and earlier. Since the VSEL product will soon reach end of life, the vendor has advised customers to upgrade to Endpoint Security for Linux (ENSL) 10.2 or later, which addresses the flaws. CERT/CC said existing customers can upgrade free of charge.

CERT/CC has also informed users of a potential denial-of-service/remote code execution issue affecting McAfee VirusScan Enterprise for Windows. The flaw in the Windows version, identified by Shelby Kaba, appears to be unpatched.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.