Buffer overflow in MySQL Sep 10 2003 09:30PM
Jedi/Sector One (j c9x org) (1 replies)

Product : MySQL
Date : 10/09/2003
Author : Frank Denis <j (at) pureftpd (dot) org [email concealed]>

------------------------[ Product description ]------------------------

From the web site :

MySQL is the world's most popular open source database, recognized for its
speed and reliability.

Today MySQL is the most popular open source database server in the world
with more than 4 million installations powering websites, datawarehouses,
business applications, logging systems and more.

Home page : http://www.mysql.com/

------------------------[ Vulnerability ]------------------------

Passwords of MySQL users are stored in the "User" table, part of the "mysql"
database, specifically in the "Password" field.

In MySQL 4.0.x and 3.23.x, these passwords are hashed and stored as a 16
characters long hexadecimal value, specifically in the "Password" field.

Unfortunately, a function involved in password checking misses correct bounds
checking. By filling a "Password" field a value wider than 16 characters, a
buffer overflow will occur.

------------------------[ Implications ]------------------------

Anyone with global administrative privileges on a MySQL server may execute
arbitrary code even on a host he isn't supposed to have a shell on, with the
privileges of the system account running the MySQL server.

------------------------[ Details ]------------------------

The get_salt_from_password() function defined in sql/password.c takes an
arbitrary long hex password and returns an arbitrary long binary array with
the previous decoded values :

void get_salt_from_password(ulong *res,const char *password)
if (password)
while (*password)
ulong val=0;
uint i;
for (i=0 ; i < 8 ; i++)
val=(val << 4)+char_val(*password++);

This function is called sql/sql_acl.cc to check for access control.

It is passed the raw content of the Password field from the User table of
the mysql database.

The process aborts if then length is not a multiple of 8 but this is the
only check before get_salt_from_password() is actually called.

The overflow occurs on a local ACL_USER instance in acl_init() and
successful exploitation of that bug is trivial on some platforms. On most
Linux systems the return address needs about 444 bytes to get overwritten.

Harmless proof of concept :

> USE mysql;
> UPDATE User SET Password =


12345678123456781234567812345678...' WHERE User = 'abcd';

[Connection lost]

mysqld_safe/safe_mysqld log :

030806 21:05:43 mysqld restarted
030806 21:05:43 mysqld restarted
030806 21:05:43 mysqld restarted
030806 21:05:43 mysqld restarted

MySQL log : tons of

mysqld got signal 11;
This could be because you hit a bug. It is also possible that this binary
or one of the libraries it was linked against is corrupt, improperly built,
or misconfigured. This error can also be caused by malfunctioning hardware.
We will try our best to scrape up some info that will hopefully help diagnose
the problem, but since we have already crashed, something is definitely wrong

Confirmed on OpenBSD 3.3-RELEASE, FreeBSD 4.8-STABLE and Gentoo Linux 1.4.

------------------------[ Affected versions ]------------------------

All versions of MySQL up to and including 4.0.14 are likely to be

All versions of MySQL up to and including 3.0.57 are also likely to be

------------------------[ Workarounds ]------------------------


But to mitigate the impact of this kind of vulnerability never let the
server run with "root" privileges. Create a dedicated user and add the
--user=<dedicated user> command-line switch to start the daemon. Or edit
your "my.cnf" file to achieve similar results. There is no loss of
functionnality when the server runs without root privileges.

------------------------[ Fix ]------------------------

The following patch (applies fine to 4.0.14, should also work on earlier
releases with minor fuzz) fixes the bug :

--- mysql-4.0.14-old/sql/sql_acl.cc 2003-07-18 16:57:25.000000000 +0200
+++ mysql-4.0.14/sql/sql_acl.cc 2003-09-10 23:21:13.559759576 +0200
@@ -233,7 +233,7 @@
"Found old style password for user '%s'. Ignoring user. (You may want to restart mysqld using --old-protocol)",
user.user ? user.user : ""); /* purecov: tested */
- else if (length % 8) // This holds true for passwords
+ else if (length % 8 || length > 16) // This holds true for passwords
"Found invalid password for user: '%s@%s'; Ignoring user",

------------------------[ Vendor status ]------------------------

MySQL AB has been informed of this vulnerability on Wed, 6 Aug 2003.

The issue was confirmed and fixed in the developpment tree the next day.

[side note: the MySQL developpment team is not only very reactive, the guys
are also extremely nice]

MySQL 4.0.15, which includes a fix for this vulnerability and other
unrelated bugs, is now available for download from the following location :


__ /*- Frank DENIS (Jedi/Sector One) <j (at) 42-Networks (dot) Com [email concealed]> -*\ __
\ '/ <a href="http://www.PureFTPd.Org/"> Secure FTP Server </a> \' /
\/ <a href="http://www.Jedi.Claranet.Fr/"> Misc. free software </a> \/

[ reply ]
Re: Buffer overflow in MySQL Sep 11 2003 10:41AM
Konstantin Tsolov (ktsolov etel bg)


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