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Vulnerability Spotted In Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine

The company has produced patches for the flaw, which could let attackers slip their malicious code onto a system.

Another anti-virus vendor stepped up to acknowledge that a bug in its software gives hackers unauthorized entry into supposedly protected systems.

Symantec acknowledged a vulnerability in its Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine software -- a TCP/IP server and programming interface that lets third-party developers add support for Symantec content scanning into their own applications -- which could let attackers slip their malicious code onto a system.

"A remote attacker that had the ability to access the affected service could leverage this issue by sending a malicious HTTP request to the service," Symantec said in a security advisory released late Tuesday. "This vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary machine code in the context of the affected application…[to] allow remote attackers to gain privileged remote access to computers."

Reston, Va.-based iDefense, a division of security vendor VeriSign, discovered the vulnerability, notified Symantec of its findings Aug. 31, and also posted an advisory late Tuesday. According to iDefense, the vulnerability is found in AntiVirus Scan Engine's HTTP header validation.

No exploit has been seen for the bug, SecurityFocus said on its Web site. Symantec, meanwhile, has produced patches for the flaw.

This is the second time in two days that an anti-virus supplier has had to patch problems. Monday, Russian security company Kaspersky Labs was hit with a vulnerability in its Windows virus scanner.

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