Two Major Databases Spring Security Leaks

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-10-01 Print this article Print

MySQL, DB2 found to have buffer overflow, DOS vulnerabilities.

Two major databases have sprung security leaks. The security firm Application Security Inc. reported this week that IBMs DB2 Universal Database and MySQL ABs MySQL open-source database have a total of three vulnerabilities that range from low- to high-risk levels.
The first DB2 weakness is a buffer overflow in db2dart. This entails a UDP service used for discovery of DB2 databases on a network. The UDP service is overwhelmed when more than 20 bytes of information are sent.
All versions of DB2 are affected, although the risk level is only medium. The fix is IBMs FixPak 10a, available here. DB2s second new weakness is a vulnerability to denial-of-service attacks in its discovery service. This is a service used in turn to locate another service when configuring connections. Again, if a packet larger than 20 bytes comes in to the server, the service shuts down. This vulnerability also affects all versions of DB2. The second DB2 flaw has a low risk level. The fix is available here. ASI CTO Aaron Newman told eWeek in an interview that these most recent DB2 flaws dont pose a major threat to enterprises because they entail mere privilege esca-lations. "These were not high vulnerabilities," said Newman, in New York. "Theyre more privilege esca-lations. Its not something where an anonymous hacker would be able to break in." For its part, the MySQL database has potential for a buffer overflow in its "get_salt_from_password" function. This is a serious risk, and it affects all versions of MySQL. According to Newman, a malicious user could grant him- or herself administrative privi-leges and then use the function to trigger a buffer overflow. It cant, however, be used to give an intruder control of the MySQL database, through which control of the operating system can be gained, Newman said. MySQL AB has not released a separate patch for this bug, but it is fixed in the latest MySQL database releases 4.0.15 (the current production release) and 3.23.58 (an older production release). To download 4.0.15, click here. To download 3.23.58, click here. Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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