CAPEC-470 - Expanding Control over the Operating System from the Database

An attacker is able to leverage access gained to the database to read / write data to the file system, compromise the operating system, create a tunnel for accessing the host machine, and use this access to potentially attack other machines on the same network as the database machine.

Traditionally SQL injections attacks are viewed as a way to gain unauthorized read access to the data stored in the database, modify the data in the database, delete the data, etc. However, almost every data base management system (DBMS) system includes facilities that if compromised allow an attacker complete access to the file system, operating system, and full access to the host running the database. The attacker can then use this privileged access to launch subsequent attacks.

These facilities include dropping into a command shell, creating user defined functions that can call system level libraries present on the host machine, stored procedures, etc.






High level: Low level knowledge of the various facilities available in different DBMS systems for interacting with the file system and operating system

A vulnerable DBMS is used

A SQL injection exists that gives an attacker access to the database or an attacker has access to the DBMS via other means

Design: Follow the defensive programming practices needed to protect an application accessing the database from SQL injection
Configuration: Ensure that the DBMS is patched with the latest security patches
Design: Ensure that the DBMS login used by the application has the lowest possible level of privileges in the DBMS
Design: Ensure that DBMS runs with the lowest possible level of privileges on the host machine and that it runs as a separate user
Usage: Do not use the DBMS machine for anything else other than the database
Usage: Do not place any trust in the database host on the internal network. Authenticate and validate all network activity originating from the database host.
Usage: Use an intrusion detection system to monitor network connections and logs on the database host.
Implementation: Remove / disable all unneeded / unused functions of the DBMS system that may allow an attacker to elevate privileges if compromised