Microsoft has issued an advisory that a known critical vulnerability in older versions of Windows SQL Server now has proven attack code, developed by a security firm weary of waiting for a patch to be released.According to the Microsoft Security Advisory, vulnerable versions of the software are:
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000) Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (WMSDE) Windows Internal Database (WYukon)
Versions not vulnerable to the exploit are Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Service Pack 4, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
The flaw, which contains the potential for remote execution attacks, has been known for months, but Microsoft has not released a patch which prompted Austrian security company SEC Consult to go public with proof of concept attack techniques.
Coming so quickly after a major scheduled patch release, which was itself followed by a rare off-schedule (what Microsoft call out-of-band) patch for Internet Explorer, the now available attack code for the SQL Server bug places Microsoft in an interesting (or annoying) position.
While no attacks from the wild have been reported yet, it seems likely that their arrival is just a matter of time. Microsoft is rumored to have had a patch for the bug for some time. Question is, do they release it now, or wait until the next Patch Tuesday, or not release at all?
Or wait until the bug begins to be exploited?
Until a decision is made, a workaround is available in the security advisory (scroll down).