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Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2015 10:37:51 GMT
Subject: [SYSS-2015-015] Panda Gold Protection 2015 - Authentication Bypass

Hash: SHA512

Advisory ID: SYSS-2015-015
Product: Panda Gold Protection 2015
Vendor: Panda Security
Affected Version(s): 15.1.0
Tested Version(s): 15.1.0
Vulnerability Type: Authentication Bypass Using an Alternate Path or 
                    Channel (CWE-288)
Risk Level: Medium
Solution Status: Not fixed
Vendor Notification: 2015-02-27
Solution Date: -
Public Disclosure: 2015-04-14
CVE Reference: Not yet assigned
Author of Advisory: Matthias Deeg (SySS GmbH)



Panda Gold Protection 2015 is an endpoint protection software with many
features defending users against different threats.

The vendor Panda Security describes the product as follows (see [1]):

"Everything you need to protect - your PC, Mac® or Android™, your data
and family - against all types of threats, even those as yet
undiscovered, is included in Panda Gold Protection. Enjoy real time
protection against the latest malware. Surf, shop and play online with
complete peace of mind."


Vulnerability Details:

The endpoint protection software Panda Gold Protection 2015  offers a
password protection in order to restrict access to the management
console. With an enabled password protection, changing settings or
deactivating the protection features requires the set password.

By analyzing the password-based authentication of the implemented
password protection, the SySS GmbH found out, that the password
comparison is done within the process PSUAMain.exe (actually within the
used module PSUNConsole.dll), which runs in the context of the current
Windows user, who can also be a standard, limited user.

This fact allows a further analysis and the manipulation of the password
comparison during runtime without administrative privileges, as every 
user is able to debug and manipulate the processes running with her user

In order to bypass the password-based authentication, for example to
deactivate the protection of Panda Gold Protection 2015 in an
unauthorized manner, an attacker only has to patch this password
comparison, so that it always returns true, for example by comparing the
correct unload password with itself or by modifying the program control

The SySS GmbH also found out, that the actual set password for the
password protection can be extracted as cleartext during runtime from
the process PSUAMain.exe.

Thus, a limited Windows user or malware running in the context of such a
user is able to deactivate Panda Gold Protection 2015 in an unauthorized
manner and furthermore to extract the actual password as cleartext.


Proof of Concept (PoC):

The SySS GmbH developed a proof-of-concept software tool named
UnloadPanda for deactivating the Panda protection in an unauthorized

The following output exemplarily shows a successful bypass of the
password-based authentication and of the cleartext password extraction:

               /    _____       _____ _____                                 \
              /    /  ___|     /  ___/  ___|                                 \
             |     \ `--. _   _\ `--.\ `--.                                   |
             |      `--. \ | | |`--. \`--. \                                  |
             |     /\__/ / |_| /\__/ /\__/ /                                  |
              \    \____/ \__, \____/\____/   ... unloads Panda!             /
               \          __/ |                                             /
               /         |___/    _________________________________________/
              / _________________/
        (__) /_/
 / |____||
*  ||   ||
   ^^   ^^
SySS Unload Panda Protection v1.0 by Matthias Deeg - SySS GmbH (c) 2015

[+] The Panda process was patched successfully.
    Now you can unload the Panda protection with an arbitrary password.
    After entering an arbitrary password, the correct one will be shown.
[+] The correct password is: s3cret1!



The SySS GmbH is currently not aware of a solution for the reported
security vulnerability.

Please contact the vendor for further information.


Disclosure Timeline:

2015-02-27: Vulnerability reported to vendor
2015-03-06: Reported vulnerability again as the vendor did not reply to
            to the first e-mail with the SySS security advisory
2015-03-06: Vendor acknowledges e-mail with SySS security advisory and
            opens a case
2015-04-14: Public release of security advisory according to the SySS
            Responsible Disclosure Policy


[1] Product Web site for Panda Gold Protection 2015
[2] SySS Security Advisory SYSS-2015-015
[3] SySS Responsible Disclosure Policy



This security vulnerability was found by Matthias Deeg.

E-Mail: matthias.deeg (at)
Public Key:
Key fingerprint = 5AE3 96EE A014 FB90 9D81 AF90 8C54 7E88 A34C CED8



The information provided in this security advisory is provided "as is" 
and without warranty of any kind. Details of this security advisory may 
be updated in order to provide as accurate information as possible. The
latest version of this security advisory is available on the SySS Web 



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