McAfee fixes flaw in Mac antivirus software

Attackers could exploit the hole in McAfee's Virex 7.7 antivirus program for Mac OS X to bypass the malware scanner, but a fix is available.

McAfee Inc. has repaired a flaw in its antivirus program for Mac OS X machines that attackers could exploit to bypass the malware scanner and gain elevated system privileges.

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An issue exists with the default permissions and validation of specific files belonging to McAfee Virex 7.7 that may allow for local authenticated command execution, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based antivirus vendor said in an advisory

"The vulnerability is caused due to /Library/Application Support/Virex/VShieldExclude.txt having insecure permissions and being created insecurely," Danish vulnerability clearinghouse Secunia said in an advisory. "This can be exploited to create arbitrary files with escalated privileges via symlink attacks."

McAfee recommends that users apply the patch, which has been pushed to all its live update servers.

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