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Title: SQL Server Installation Process May Leave Passwords on System (Q263968) Date: July 10, 2002 Software: Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, Microsoft Data Engine 1.0 (MSDE 1.0), or SQL Server 2000 Impact: Elevation of privilege Max Risk: Moderate Bulletin: MS02-035
Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS02-035.asp.
When installing SQL Server 7.0 (including MSDE 1.0), SQL Server 2000, or a service pack for SQL Server 7.0 or SQL Server 2000, the information provided for the install process is collected and stored in a setup file called setup.iss. The setup.iss file can then be used to automate the installation of additional SQL Server systems. SQL Server 2000 also includes the ability to record an unattended install to the setup.iss file without having to actually perform an installation. The administrator setting up the SQL Server can supply a password to the installation routine under the following circumstances:
In either case, the password would be stored in the setup.iss file. Prior to SQL Server 7.0 Service Pack 4, the passwords were stored in clear text. For SQL Server 7.0 Service Pack 4 and SQL Server 2000 Service Packs 1 and 2, the passwords are encrypted and then stored. Additionally, a log file is created during the installation process that shows the results of the installation. The log file would also include any passwords that had been stored in the setup.iss file.
A security vulnerability results because of two factors:
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