A zero-day flaw in a software driver in Symantec's widely used Endpoint Protection product may be tricky to fix.
The flaw is contained in the Application and Device Control driver, which is in Endpoint Protection versions 11.x and 12.x, the security company wrote in an advisory on Wednesday.
[ Watch out for 11 signs you've been hacked -- and learn how to fight back. Find out how in InfoWorld's PDF special report. | Stay up to date on the latest security developments with InfoWorld's Security Central newsletter. ]
The vulnerability in Endpoint Protection was found by training and penetration testing company Offensive Security, one of three it uncovered in the product during a recent penetration test of a financial services firm.
All are privilege escalation vulnerabilities, which would allow a user with restricted access to gain higher access on a computer, which could be parlayed into broader network access.
So far, no known compromises have been reported, Symantec said, writing that the medium severity flaw is being handled "with the utmost urgency and care."
Software drivers are not easy to upgrade. It wasn't clear if users will have to reinstall Endpoint Protection with an upgraded driver or if Symantec can issue a patch.
The disclosure comes as a researcher from Singapore security firm Coseinc warned antivirus programs frequently have security flaws, making the applications prime targets for attack due to their deep integration with a computer's operating system.
Mati Aharoni, lead trainer and developer for Offensive Security, said the company plans to preview proof-of-concept code for the Endpoint Protection flaw during its Advanced Windows Exploitation training class at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next month. Offensive Security published a video earlier this week demonstrating what it said was a successful attack.
Administrators have a few options to mitigate the risk in the meantime. Symantec published instructions for disabling the Application and Device Control driver in Endpoint Protection version 12.1. For those on versions 11.x, the Application and Device control policy can be disabled.
Send news tips and comments to email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk