SEC Consult SA-20070309-0 :: MySQL 5 Single Row Subselect Denial of Service Mar 09 2007 07:06PM
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SEC-CONSULT Security Advisory < 20070309-0>
title: MySQL 5 Single Row Subselect Denial of Service
program: MySQL 5
vulnerable version: < 5.0.37
impact: moderate
homepage: http://www.mysql.com
found: 2007-02-10
by: S.Streichbier / SEC-CONSULT / www.sec-consult.com
B.Mueller / SEC-CONSULT / www.sec-consult.com
permanent link: http://www.sec-consult.com/284.html

Vendor description:

MySQL, the most popular Open Source SQL database management system, is
developed, distributed, and supported by MySQL AB. MySQL AB is a
commercial company, founded by the MySQL developers. It is a second
generation Open Source company that unites Open Source values and
methodology with a successful business model.

[Source: http://www.mysql.com]

Vulnerability overview:

In order to exploit this vulnerability the attacker needs to execute
select statements on the database (e.g. SQL Injection).

Starting with version 5, MySQL provides access to the database metadata.
When using functions that operate on strings in combination with
subselects on information_schema tables and additional sorting of the
results with the ORDER BY clause, a null-pointer dereferencation takes
place causing a segmentation fault.

This allows an attacker to crash the MySQL database. We have not found
any code execution vector resulting from this bug, though further
research into this and related bugs may provide interesting results.

Vulnerability details:

When a subselect in a string function is used,
Item_singlerow_subselect::val_str() is called. As it is not expected
that the result of a single row subselect will be sorted, certain fields
(specifically sort->io_cache) in the allocated struct st_table are not
initalized. Yet, when "ORDER BY" is used in the query, filesort() is run
on the table. The actual segfault occurs in an error handling routine in


111 FILESORT_INFO table_sort;
117 memcpy(&table_sort, &table->sort, sizeof(FILESORT_INFO));
120 outfile= table_sort.io_cache;
269 err:
276 if (my_b_inited(outfile))


503 #define my_b_inited(info) (info)->buffer

This leads to a null pointer dereference (EAX+8 or EBX+8 = 0x00000008 in
our test installations) crashing mysqld.

proof of concept:

Any string function can be used to exploit this vulnerability.

SELECT ASCII((SELECT table_name FROM information_schema.columns ORDER BY
information_schema.columns ORDER BY 1));
SELECT SUBSTR((SELECT table_name FROM information_schema.tables ORDER BY
SELECT UPPER((SELECT table_name FROM information_schema.tables ORDER BY
SELECT RTRIM((SELECT table_name FROM information_schema.tables ORDER BY
SELECT RPAD((SELECT table_name FROM information_schema.tables ORDER BY

vulnerable versions:

All versions since the introduction of INFORMATION_SCHEMA tables seem to
be vulnerable to the Denial of Service attack. The version 5.0.37 fixes
this security issue.

vendor status:
vendor notified: 2007-02-22
vendor response: 2007-02-22
patch available: 2007-03-09
coordinated disclosure: 2007-03-09

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EOF Stefan Streichsbier / @2007

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