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Massive SQL injection attacks hit thousands

12 June 2008

Microsoft SQL Server has always been open to easy exploits, and according to this new report, overseas attackers managed to infiltrate more than half a million websites, including those of the United Nations and the US Department of Homeland Security.

Along with the major flop of Microsoft Vista operating system, this news is another reminder of the inferior quality of Microsoft data management software.  Wired magazine notes that, by itself, Microsoft is not secure:

"While the attack is not Microsoft's fault, it is unique to the company's IIS server.

The automated attack takes advantage to the fact that Microsoftís IIS servers allow generic commands that donít require specific table-level arguments. However, the vulnerability is the result of poor data handling by the sitesí creators, rather than a specific Microsoft flaw.

In other words, thereís no patch thatís going to fix the issue, the problem is with the developers who failed follow well-established security practices for handling database input.

The attack itself injects some malicious JavaScript code into every text field in your database"

PC World Magazines notes that over 10,000 web sites running Microsoft have been attacked from an IP address in China:

"The attackers aren't targeting a specific vulnerability. Instead they are using an automated SQL injection attack engine that is tailored to attack Web sites using SQL Server, Huang said. The attack uses SQL injection to infect targeted Web sites with malware, which in turn exploits vulnerabilities in the browsers of those who visit the Web sites, he said, calling the attack "very well designed."

The caveat is clear.  Neither Oracle nor SQL Server are secure out-of-the-box.

 

Inside SQL Injection attacks

This scary must-see video that shows a real-world SQL injection attack and it's frightening how fast they can break into a allegedly secure database.  It's even more frightening that someone would publish step-by-step instructions where the criminals can see them.

This video shows a SQL Injection attack in Linux, "based on a true story", giving criminals complete directions to aid them in their acts.

See my related notes on Oracle SQL injection attacks:

 



 

 
 
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