Microsoft Security Bulletin (MS00-035)
Patch Available for "SQL Server 7.0 Service Pack Password" Vulnerability
May 30, 2000
Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a security vulnerability in Microsoft(r) SQL Server(r) 7.0 Service Packs 1 and 2 installation routine. When run on a machine that is configured in a non-recommended mode, the routines record the administrator password in a log file, where it could be read by any user who could log onto the server at the keyboard.
Frequently asked questions regarding this vulnerability and the patch can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-035.asp
When SQL Server 7.0 Service Packs 1 or 2 are installed on a machine that is configured to perform authentication using Mixed Mode, the password for the SQL Server standard security System Administrator (sa) account is recorded in plaintext in the file \%TEMP%\sqlsp.log. The default permissions on the file would allow any user to read it who could log onto the server interactively.
The password is only recorded if Mixed Mode is used, and even then, only if the adminstrator chose to use SQL Server Authentication when installing the service pack. Microsoft has long recommended that SQL servers be configured to use the more secure Windows NT Authentication Mode, and customers who have followed this recommendation would not be affected. Even on affected machines, the password could not be compromised if, per normal security recommendations, normal users are prevented from logging onto the machine interactively.
Note: Additional security patches are available at the Microsoft Download Center
Please see the following references for more information related to this issue. - Frequently Asked Questions: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS00-035, http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-035.asp - Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q263968 discusses this issue and will be available soon. - Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Security, http://www.microsoft.com/technet/SQL/Technote/secure.asp. - Microsoft TechNet Security web site, http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/default.asp
This is a fully supported patch. Information on contacting Microsoft Technical Support is available at http://support.microsoft.com/support/contact/default.asp.
Microsoft thanks Gordon Newman of PeopleSoft for reporting this issue to us and working with us to protect customers.
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Last Updated May 30,2000