Symantec Website Hack Exposes User Data

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2009-11-25 Print this article Print

A hacker recently demonstrated how a SQL injection vulnerability in a Symantec Website could be exploited to reveal user data. Symantec says the vulnerability ony impacts customers in Japan and South Korea.

A Website operated by security firm Symantec was hacked - giving an attacker a sneak peak at sensitive customer data.

The Romanian hacker known as Unu, who earlier this year uncovered a hole in a Website run by Kaspersky Lab, exploited a blind SQL injection problem to get his hands on clear-text passwords associated with customer records and other data.

Unu used sqlmap and Pangolin to demonstrate the vulnerability, and published screenshots to his blog. According to Symantec, the vulnerability was on its site, which is used to facilitate customer support for Symantec's Norton products in Japanand South Korea.

"At this time, we believe that this incident does not affect Symantec customers anywhere else in the world," a Symantec spokesperson said Nov. 24. "This incident impacts customer support in Japanand South Koreabut does not affect the safety and usage of Symantec's Norton-branded consumer products. Symantec is currently in the process of ensuring that the Website is appropriately secured and will bring it back online as soon as possible."

According to Unu, his goal was not to cause harm, but to create a stir so the problem would be fixed.

"If you remember, in February, Kaspersky faced with a sql injection," he blogged. "Then they had the courage to admit vulnerability...There was fair play, they quickly secured vulnerable parameter, and even if at first they were very angry at me, finally understood that I did not extract (data), I saved nothing...My goal was, what (it) is still, to warn. To call attention."

Trend Micro Advanced Threats Researcher Rik Ferguson said the incident serves as a reminder to follow best practices when it comes to securing Web applications. Sensitive data should never be stored in clear text, he blogged, and bounds checking of input data can help avoid buffer overflows and SQL injection attacks.  



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