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Heartbleed bug is irritating McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky Lab

Ellen Messmer | April 16, 2014
The flawed OpenSSL Heartbleed problem is putting many security firms in the hot seat.

The Heartbleed Bug disclosed by the OpenSSL group on April 7 has sent many vendors scurrying to patch their products and that includes security firms Symantec, Intel Security's McAfee division, and Kaspersky Lab.

Heartbleed is basically a buffer-overflow vulnerability in the flawed versions of OpenSSL that would allow savvy attackers to steal data such as passwords or digital certificates. A German software engineer has admitted to unwittingly inserting the Heartbleed Bug vulnerability two years ago in OpenSSL, and it now has a significant portion of the high-tech industry patching servers, client software, network gear and security products. In investigating their own product lines in recent days, Symantec, McAfee and Kaspersky Lab, among others, have been busy de-bugging the Heartbleed Bug out of their products.

The process of  investigating the impact of Heartbleed is still ongoing and in some cases, patches for products seen as vulnerable are still to be released.

Symantec's long Heartbleed list of products considered vulnerable is being updated on a rolling basis. NetBackup Appliance, are impacted by Heartbleed and require a patch, but Backup Exec, is not impacted. Vulnerable products have gotten or will get patches.

Agent software for EPM and Symantec Risk Automation Suite is impacted. So are some versions of Norton Security and Norton Identity Safe. But many Symantec products are not, including Symantec Web Gateway, Symantec Endpoint Encryption, the PGP products line, and Symantec Endpoint Encryption Manager. Symantec digital certificates are not vulnerable to Heartbleed but since swapping out certificates on servers patched for the Heartbleed Bug is recommended, Symantec is issuing new certificates at no cost for replacement.

But Symantec's list also indicates it hasn't yet determined for certain the status of Norton Mobile Security and Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013, Symantec Security Information Manager, and Application High Availability, saying this is still "under investigation" in terms of Heartbleed vulnerability. Symantec was not immediately available to comment further on this.

According to its advisory, Symantec maintains that while the Heartbleed Bug does pose a serious threat to unpatched servers especially, it does not see evidence of widespread attacks based on the Heartbleed Bug flaw.

At rival security vendor McAfee, there was also considerable effort underway in the past few days to sort out what products and services were vulnerable to Heartbleed or not.

As of today, McAfee's list of products vulnerable to Heartbleed include ePolicy Orchestrator, Next Generation Firewall (Stonesoft), McAfee Firewall Enterprise, McAfee Security Information and Event Management (Nitro), McAfee email Gateway, McAfee Web Gateway, McAfee Security for Microsoft Exchange, McAfee Security for Microsoft Sharepoint, McAfee Security for Lotus Domino on Windows. McAfee is providing updates for these products.


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