March 17, 2006
Veritas Backup Exec for Windows Servers: Media Server BENGINE Service Job log Format String Overflow

Revision History
3/23/2006 - Added CVE numbers

Risk Impact
Low (network/system authorization and specific configuration required)

Remote AccessYes
Local AccessNo
Authentication RequiredYes
Exploit publicly availableNo


Backup Exec for Windows Servers Media Server is susceptible to a format string vulnerability in the job log in BENGINE.exe when job logging is configured with "full details" enabled. (Not the default configuration) An authorized user on the network with a system configured for backup could potentially host a specifically-formatted file on their system. If the file name is properly mal-formatted AND the backup is being run with job logs enabled in Full Details mode, the malicious user could cause a denial of service on the Media Server or may potentially be able to run arbitrary code on the system hosting the Media Server.

Supported Product(s) and Agent Affected

Backup Exec for Windows Servers9.1HotFix Available
Backup Exec for Windows Servers10.0HotFix Available
Backup Exec for Windows Servers10.1HotFix Available

Only those products listed above are affected

NOTE: Product versions prior to those listed above are NOT supported. Customers running legacy product versions should upgrade and apply updates.

Symantec became aware of a format string vulnerability in the BENGINE.exe on Backup Exec for Windows Servers Media Server that is possible when backing up a file with an appropriately mal-formatted file name. The overflow ONLY occurs when the job log is configured to run in the "Full Detailed" mode. Full Detailed mode is not the default setting nor is it a normally used setting as it requires an inordinate amount of disk space per file backed up and verified. However it may be used as a "debug" mode when necessary. Successfully exploiting this issue requires network access and authorized access to a system identified for backup. The malicious user would have to place a specifically-configured file on the system and the Backup Exec for Windows Servers Media Server must have "Full Detailed" logging mode enabled for any possibility of exploitation of this issue. Running such a maliciously designed file would result in a denial of service on the Media Server or, if properly designed, might possibly allow arbitrary code to be run on the Media Server.

Symantec Response
Symantec engineers verified this issue exists on those supported products identified above. Security updates are available for supported affected products. Symantec recommends all customers apply the latest updates for their supported product versions to protect against these types of threats.

Symantec knows of no attempts to exploit against or adverse customer impact from this issue.

The patches listed above for affected products are available from the following location:

Do not use the "Full Details" logging option. Use the default setting or set logging details of any of the other three logging setting available.

Best Practices
As part of normal best practices, Symantec strongly recommends:
Restrict access to administration or management systems to privileged users.
Restrict remote access, if required, to trusted/authorized systems only.
Run under the principle of least privilege where possible to limit the impact of exploit by threats such as this.
Keep all operating systems and applications updated with the latest vendor patches.
Follow a multi-layered approach to security. Run both firewall and antivirus applications, at a minimum, to provide multiple points of detection and protection to both inbound and outbound threats.
Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for signs of anomalous or suspicious activity. This may aid in detection of attacks or malicious activity related to exploitation of latent vulnerabilities

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) initiative has assigned CVE Candidate CVE-2006-1298 to this issue. This issue is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.

Initial Post on: Friday, 17-Mar-06 12:25:00
Last modified on: