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McAfee Security Bulletin - VirusScan Enterprise update fixes a potential privilege escalation vulnerability when access protection is turned off
Security Bulletins ID:   SB10038
Last Modified:  10/2/2014


 Who Should Read This Document: Technical and Security Personnel
 Impact of Vulnerability: Privilege Escalation
 CVE Number: None
 US CERT Number: None
 Severity Rating: Medium
 Overall CVSS Score: 5.2
 Recommendations: Install the provided patch and hotfix
 Security Bulletin Replacement: None, but similar to SB10034
 Caveats: This only affects installations where McAfee Access Protection has been turned off.
 Affected Software: VirusScan Enterprise (VSE) 8.8 Patch 2 (with Access Protection turned off)
 Location of Updated Software: http://www.mcafee.com/us/downloads


A vulnerability was discovered in a component of VSE that allows for unauthorized privilege escalation when Access Protection has been disabled by an Administrator. Access Protection is enabled by default. McAfee recommends that Access Protection be enabled if at all possible. The attacker must be an authenticated user to exploit this flaw.

This vulnerability exists in the following product:

  • VSE 8.8 Patch 2 with Access Protection, including Self Protection, turned off.
    NOTE: This also applies to SB10034 where Access Protection (AP) has been disabled, even if subsequently re-enabled.

McAfee considers this to be a medium priority vulnerability and should be patched soon.

A hotfix has been created for this product to address this vulnerability. It ensures appropriate security permissions are enforced when AP is disabled.

For additional information and FAQs for this vulnerability, see KB76727.


Go to the McAfee Downloads site and download the applicable product patch/hotfix file. 

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to: http://www.mcafee.com/us/downloads.
  2. Provide your valid McAfee Grant Number.
  3. Click your product suite.
  4. Click the applicable product (see table below) and click I Agree.
  5. Click the Patches tab or click the link to download the product .ZIP file under Download on the Software Downloads screen.
    Product Patch / Hotfix File Name / Information Release Date
    VSE 8.8 Patch 2 and HF778101 VSE88HF778101 February 25, 2013

For instructions on how to download McAfee products, documentation, security updates, patches, or hotfixes, see KB56057.

For instructions on how to install the hotfix or patch for your product, review the Release Notes and the Installation Guide (available from the Documentation tab) following the same steps above.


Leave Access Protection turned on. This is the default configuration.


This security bulletin was written by Paul Whitehurst, Principal Software Engineer, Endpoint, McAfee, Inc. and Harold Toomey, Principal Product Security Architect, Product Security Group, McAfee, Inc.


Corporate Technical Support:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is affected by this security vulnerability?
The following McAfee products are affected and protected:

Affected versions:

  • VSE 8.8 Patch 2 (with Access Protection turned off)

Protected versions:

  • VSE 8.8 Patch 2 with HF778101
  • VSE 8.8 Patch 3

McAfee recommends that all customers verify that they have applied the latest updates.

Does this vulnerability affect McAfee enterprise products?
Yes, VSE is an enterprise product.

What is CVSS?
CVSS, or Common Vulnerability Scoring System, is the result of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council’s effort to standardize a system of assessing the criticality of a vulnerability. This system offers an unbiased criticality score that customers can use to judge how critical a vulnerability is and plan accordingly. For more information, please visit the CVSS website at: http://www.first.org/cvss/

What are the CVSS scoring metrics that have been used?

 Base Score 6.6
 Related exploit range (AccessVector) Local
 Attack complexity (AccessComplexity) Medium 
 Level of authentication needed (Authentication) Single Instance
 Confidentiality impact Complete
 Integrity impact Complete
 Availability impact Complete
 Temporal Score 5.2
 Availability of exploit (Exploitability) Proof of concept code
 Type of fix available (RemediationLevel) Official fix
 Level of verification that vulnerability exists (ReportConfidence) Confirmed

NOTE: CVSS version 2.0 was used to generate this score.

What has McAfee done to resolve the issue?
McAfee has released a patch and hotfix to address this security flaw.

Where do I download the fix?
The fix can be downloaded from:  http://www.mcafee.com/us/downloads
User will need to provide their McAfee Grant Number to initiate the download.

How does McAfee respond to this and any other security flaws?
McAfee’s key priority is the security of our customers. In the event that a vulnerability is found within any of McAfee’s software, we work closely with the relevant security research group to ensure rapid and effective development of a fix and communication plan. McAfee is an active member of the Organization for Internet Safety (OIS), which is dedicated to developing guidelines and best practices for the reporting and fixing of software vulnerabilities.

McAfee only publishes product vulnerability bulletins together with an actionable workaround, patch, or hotfix; otherwise we would simply be informing the hacker community that our products are a target, putting our customers at greater risk.


To download new Beta software or to read about the latest Beta information, go to: http://www.mcafee.com/us/downloads/beta-programs/index.aspx
To submit Beta feedback on any McAfee product, email: mcafee_beta@mcafee.com
For contact information, go to: http://www.mcafee.com/uk/about/contact-us.aspx
For copyright, trademark attributions, and license information, go to: http://us.mcafee.com/root/aboutUs.asp?id=copyright
For patents protecting this product, see your product documentation.


The information provided in this security bulletin is provided as is without warranty of any kind. McAfee disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall McAfee or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if McAfee or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

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