Type packetstorm
Reporter Secure Coding Sekure SDI Group
Modified 1999-08-17T00:00:00


                                            `Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 01:53:30 -0200  
From: Sekure SDI SSC <bishop@SEKURE.ORG>  
Subject: Sekure SDI Advisory: mSQL Remote Bug (fwd)  
s e k u r e SDI  
Brazilian Information Security Team  
-> mSQL Buffer Overflow Advisory <-  
1. <.Overview.>  
mSQL is a SQL server for Unix and Windows systems. It's a complete  
server to manage database (create, drop, insert tables, query, etc) and  
soon it became one of the most known SQL servers in the community.  
It's most used in web servers dealing with e-commerce and web servers  
which deals with database (such as search engines). We've noticed it's  
most well known in the Unix servers than the Windows boxes.  
2. <.The flaw(s).>  
In the mSQL v1.0.xx, we've found a lot of buffers without any bounds  
check. But, what took us a special attention was the follow lines:  
--- common/debug.c ---  
void _msqlDebug(va_alist)  
va_list args;  
char msg[10240],  
As we can see by looking in these lines above, we've a function which  
will merrily pass a long string (over 10240 bytes) in the stack without  
any check.  
But, we're still needing a call to msqlDebug to create security thread:  
----- msql/msqld.c -----  
uname = (char *)strtok(packet,"\n");  
msqlDebug(MOD_GENERAL,"User = %s\n",uname);  
conArray[newSock].user = (char *)  
That's it. If the mSQL is in Debug mode, a long username (over 10240)  
will crash the machine (and possible execute arbitrary codes in the  
You might be thinking it's over. Ok, we've found another security  
problem which can lead to denial of service or arbitrary commands to be  
executed in the stack.  
Have a good look at these lines:  
----- msql/msqld.c -------  
case INIT_DB:  
cp=(char *)strtok(packet+2,"\n\r");  
if (!cp)  
msqlDebug(MOD_GENERAL,"DBName = %s\n", dbname);  
conArray[comSock].access = msqlCheckAccess(  
dbname, conArray + comSock);  
if (msqlInit(dbname) < 0)  
As you can see here, wwe've three possible threads:  
1) strcpy (dbname, cp);  
The variable dbname has 32 bytes long and the strcpy will happily  
pass the database name string (which can be over 12000 bytes long) in the  
stack. What took our attention was the behavior of this special buffer. We  
can't reach the return address but we can mess with the socket descriptor,  
causing the select function to crash, thus creating a denial of service  
thread (the server was unreachable).  
2) msqlDebug(MOD_GENERAL, "DBname = %s\n", dbname);  
As explained above, the msqlDebug has a vulnerable buffer, thus  
passing a long database name to the server, if it's in Debug mode, we can  
reach the return address in the stack, causing a denial of service or  
an arbitrary commands to be executed.  
3) msqlInit(dbname)  
Take a look at these lines:  
---- msql/msqldb.c -----  
int msqlInit(DB)  
char *DB;  
char path[255];  
The function msqlInit will merrily pass the database name (given by the  
client) to a 255 bytes long buffer. It'll cause a buffer overflow, which  
can lead to arbitrary commands to be executed in the stack or a denial of  
Hughes Technologies (the developer of mSQL) has developed a new version  
of the server, the mSQL-2.0.xx. Thus, to make sure the vulnerability was  
defeated, we've checked the code and here is the list of vulnerable  
mSQL v1.0.xx -> Vulnerable to the whole possibilities of exploiting  
(arbitrary commands) and denial of service (debug and dbname).  
mSQL v2.0.2 and prior -> Vulnerable to the possibility of exploiting  
(arbitrary commands) and denial of service (debug and dbname).  
mSQL v2.0.3 and above -> Not vulnerable to the exploiting vulnerability  
(arbitrary commands) but it's still vulnerable to Denial of Service (debug  
and dbname). See the comments below:  
Hughes has patched the 2.0.3 version from the msqlInit() attack and the  
msqlDebug attack. Though, we can still cause a denial of service in the  
mSQL server:  
----- common/debug.c -----  
static char msgBuf[10 * 1024];  
void _msqlDebug(va_alist)  
If we pass a long string (over 10240 bytes) to the static buffer, we  
can happily crash the server, causing a segmentation fault.  
The dbname thread was not completly removed, the strcpy (dbname, cp) is  
still there which can lead to mess the socket descriptor, thus causing a  
denial of service.  
3. <.Consequences.>  
All versions of mSQL are vulnerable to Denial of Service, which can lead  
to crash the database server, messing with the whole applications using  
the database.  
Versions prior to 2.0.2 (including 2.0.2) are vulnerable to arbitrary  
commands been executed in the stack, thus leading to gain access to the  
remote machine running mSQL with the privilegies of the default mSQL user:  
- In 1.0.xx versions, the default user is *root*.  
- In 2.0.xx versions, the default user is msql (but if the server is  
called by a root user, it'll only do a setuid(getuid(msql)), thus keeping  
the gid(0) privileges).  
4. <.Testing the vulnerability.>  
We've developed the exploitation script to this thread which we'll make  
available through the web page:  
Obs.: We believe that the information must be available to the whole  
community, beeing a script kiddie and using our tool for ilicit activity  
is condemmed by all of our members.  
5. <.Fix.>  
To defeat the exploitation, apply the mSQL patch "Sekure-mSQL".  
- Syslog implementation.  
- Minor corrections.  
- Security holes corrections.  
- Attack attempt log.  
You may also find it at:  
6. <.Contacts.>  
Sekure SDI Advisory is a publication of Sekure SDI  
Brazilian Information Security Team  
This advisory has been written by Secure Coding Sekure SDI Group.  
Subscribe the "Best of Security Brasil" (bos-br) Mailing list (portuguese as the main language)  
mainly written by c0nd0r <>