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McAfee Virusscan Command Line 6.0 Symlink Attack

McAfee Virusscan Command Line 6.0 Symlink Attack
Posted Jan 7, 2011
Authored by Technion

McAfee Virusscan Command Line version 6.0 suffers from a symlink attack vulnerability.

tags | advisory
SHA-256 | 2982d0bd574a2e9f74f1a3b7856c4cfdfb8451c7b3e920ec3829b6dbace0a944

McAfee Virusscan Command Line 6.0 Symlink Attack

Change Mirror Download
Product Affected
Updater for McAfee Virusscan Command Line 6.0
This product is available attached to this document:
https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB67513
As far as can be determined, there has only ever been one version of this application.

Background
It is stated by McAfee:
NOTE: The attached script is only an example of how to automate the update process and is not officially supported by McAfee Technical Support.

How can McAfee actually expect you to operate a virus scanner without a regular update process? Either we accept the product as effectively useless, or we produce a better update process. I would contend this is a more serious issue than the one presented in this exploit.

Problem

The updater script stores downloaded data in a known location under /tmp, which is vulnerable to a symlink based exploit.
UVscan itself has been the subject of an identical symlink bug, for which McAfee released a security fix back in 2008.
https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB51216

Full discussion and exploit has been documented here:
http://www.lolware.net/uvscan.html

Timeline

November 9, 2010: Issue found
circa November 17, 2010: Filled in McAfee's online support form. No reply.
December 10, 2010: Several painful hours on the phone to McAfee. Got nowhere.
January 7, 2010: Disclosure

Fix
A recommended replacement script is discussed at the above URL.
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