Microsoft confirms critical SQL Server vulnerability

MS confirms SQL Server vulnerability, posts workaroundsMicrosoft late Monday issued a pre-patch advisory confirming a remote code execution vulnerability affecting its SQL Server line.

The vulnerability, publicly disclosed with exploit code more than two weeks ago, affects Microsoft SQL Server 2000, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000), Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (WMSDE), and Windows Internal Database (WYukon).

From the advisory:

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Microsoft is aware that exploit code has been published on the Internet for the vulnerability addressed by this advisory. Our investigation of this exploit code has verified that it does not affect systems that have had the workarounds listed below applied. Currently, Microsoft is not aware of active attacks that use this exploit code or of customer impact at this time.

In addition, due to the mitigating factors for default installations of MSDE 2000 and SQL Server 2005 Express, Microsoft is not currently aware of any third-party applications that use MSDE 2000 or SQL Server 2005 Express which would be vulnerable to remote attack. However, Microsoft is actively monitoring this situation to provide customer guidance as necessary.

[ SEE: MS Patch Tuesday whopper: 28 vulnerabilities in Windows, IE, Office ]

The vulnerability is not exposed anonymously. An attacker would need to either authenticate to exploit the vulnerability or take advantage of a SQL injection vulnerability in a Web application that is able to authenticate, Microsoft explained.

[Source: zdnet]

A T-SQL script is available to test systems for this issue. In the absence of a patch, Microsoft recommends that SQL Server admins deny permissions on the sp_replwritetovarbin extended stored procedure. See more in the Microsoft advisory.