VP-2014-007 Remote Command Injection in Symantec Encryption Gateway

Symantec Gateway Email Encryption provides centrally managed email encryption to secure email communications with customers and partners regardless of whether or not recipients have their own email encryption software. With Gateway Email Encryption, organizations can minimize the risk of a data breach while complying with regulatory mandates for information security and privacy. A command injection vulnerability has been identified in the Symantec Encryption Gateway web interface. By exploiting this issue, an attacker can execute arbitrary commands on the server.


Remote Command Injection vulnerabilities occur when user supplied input is used directly as a command line argument to a fork(), execv() or a CreateProcessA() function.

It was found that the binary /usr/bin/pgpsysconf calls the binary /usr/bin/pgpbackup with unfiltered user supplied input when restoring
a Database Backup from the Symantec Encryption Management Web Interface.
The user supplied 'filename' value is used directly as a command argument, and can be concatenated to include additional commands with
the use of the pipe character. This can allow a lower privileged Administrator to compromise the Encryption Management Server.

This is demonstrated below in a snippet from pgpsysconf:

.text:08058FEA mov dword ptr [ebx], offset
aUsrBinPgpbacku ; "/usr/bin/pgpbackup"
.text:08058FF0 cmp [ebp+var_1D], 0
.text:08058FF4 jnz short loc_8059049
.text:08058FF6 mov ecx, 4
.text:08058FFB mov edx, 8
.text:08059000 mov eax, 0Ch
.text:08059005 mov dword ptr [ebx+ecx], offset unk_807AE50
.text:0805900C mov [ebx+edx], esi
.text:0805900F mov dword ptr [ebx+eax], 0
.text:08059016 call _fork ; Bingo..

An example to exploit this vulnerability and run the ping command can be seen below.

POST /omc/uploadBackup.event ....

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="file";

This vulnerability can be further exploited to gain local root access by calling the setuid binary pgpsysconf to install a local package file.

Fix Information

Upgrade to Symantec Encryption Management Server 3.3.2 MP7.
See http://www.symantec.com/security_response/securityupdates/detail.jsp?fid
for more information


  • 2014/11/26: Issue Reported.
  • 2015/01/30: Patch Released.