Symantec Encryption Desktop And Endpoint Encryption Local Privilege Escalation

Credit: kyREcon
Risk: Medium
Local: Yes
Remote: No
CWE: CWE-264

Note: These vulnerabilities remain unpatched at the point of publication. We have been working with Symantec to try and help them to fix this since our initial private disclosure in July 2017 (full timeline at the end of this article), however no patch has yet been released. Consequently, we are at the point of publishing the findings publicly. We will continue to work with Symantec to help them to produce an effective patch. CVE numbers to follow. In this article we discuss various approaches to exploiting a vulnerability in a kernel driver, PGPwded.sys, which is part of Symantec Encryption Desktop [1]. These vulnerabilities allow an attacker to attain arbitrary hard disk read and write access at sector level, and subsequently infect the target and gain low level persistence (MBR/VBR). They also allow the attacker to execute code in the context of the built-in SYSTEM user account, without requiring a reboot. Since many of the exploitation techniques that we come across rely on memory corruption, we thought that demonstrating exploitation of this type of flaw would be interesting and informative. We will provide a short overview of the discovery and nature of the vulnerability. We will then discuss how access control to file and directory objects is enforced by NTFS, attack methods, problems, possible solutions to complete the exploit, and their limitations. Read more here: Cheers, kyREcon

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