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Microsoft Acknowledges SQL Server Vulnerability

A flaw in the way SQL Server caches client connections could allow an attacker to take control of a database, Microsoft Corp. acknowledged in a security bulletin this week.

From an attacker's point of view, exploiting the vulnerability would be "daunting," Microsoft says. It only affects SQL Server when the database is configured in a mode Microsoft recommends against using. The attacker must already have authorization to access the database, and the attacker would need to time the attack immediately after an administrator performed a database operation.

That said, Microsoft recommends that anyone running SQL Server in "Mixed Mode" should apply the patch. Mixed Mode provides a lower level of user authentication than Microsoft's recommended Windows Authentication Mode. Mixed Mode is most often used when SQL Server is hosted on a Windows 95 or 98 machine.

The vulnerability affects both SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000. The patch can be applied to SQL Server 7.0 with Service Pack 3 installed or to SQL Server 2000. The fix will be included in the first service pack for SQL Server 2000.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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