[WEB SECURITY] Database tools required

Arian J. Evans arian.evans at anachronic.com
Wed May 12 13:24:20 EDT 2010

Clarification will help. Did you find a function inside of a web
application -- like a debug function that dumps connection strings,
and hence you accessed the DB credentials through connection string
info? Or something like default framework connection-string files
(global.asax, etc.)?

A) Are you asking how to connect *through* the web application running
over HTTP to the back-end database?

B) Or do you have raw sockets/TCP connectivity directly to the database?

These are two very different scenarios.

If B) many of the responses already provided will help you.

If A) then using the credentials to gain elevated access to the
database could be tricky or impossible, depending on how the
application is built.

Here are the things I would look for, if you are limited to HTTP-based
web applications for attempting access:

1. "Debug" or administrative functions in the app that allow you to
access the database impersonating the application. (these aren't very

2. Operating-system level exploits, shell access (like php_shell
files), or command injection via the web application (most likely on
the web server).

Exploiting this level of access will allow you to connect and create
arbitrary queries at the level of privilege of the credentials, since
you know the appropriate DB drivers are already installed. If the
application uses a middleware or managed-code abstraction layer (like
.NET), then command injection/shell exploits at the web-server level
could be of limited use. Your worker-threads (you gain shell with) are
usually lower-privilege too.

3. RFI or LFI (file include) vulnerabilities. Upload your own
script/SWF/etc. and plug directly into the DB.

4. Other vulnerable web applications. If you find other vulnerable web
applications on the same network that have any of the above issues, up
to and including OS Command Injector or SQL Injection, you may be able
to connect to the database from the web/app server of another
vulnerable web application in the same DMZ/LB pool. (Often you find
it's the same DB cluster in production environments. :)


Even if you cannot exploit this finding, it is still valuable.

In and of itself - this information can be a vulnerability on
production systems. If network access to the DB is not segmented
internally...anyone on the internal network can impersonate the
application provided they have access to the database, which is a
significantly concerning situation.

Most organizations do not perform network-access layer logging on
their databases, trusting the connection strings, so there is no
repudiation for actions taken by any arbitrary entity with access to
these credentials.

Good luck,

Arian Evans
"If you really want to make things complicated - look no further than BSIMM"

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 10:37 PM, Parmendra Sharma
<s.parmendra at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi All,
> While performing a VA / PT exercise of an application i got the database
> credentials. Kindly suggest any tool which connects me to the database
> through the application.
> --
> Thanks and Regards:
> Parmendra Sharma
> Computer Security Analyst

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