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SQL Injection Help .. Microsoft to the rescue with URLScan 3.0.
June 26, 2008
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The number of SQL Injection attacks across the Internet continue to rise. I’m seeing regular posting on the SANS RSS feed related to SQL Injection and XSS these days and clients are finding that applications they thought were not vulnerable turn out to be vulnerable because of patches and custom mods they’ve had made to them.  For most site owners this meant going back to the developers and getting updates and this is generally costly and time consuming. Fortunately, Microsoft has stepped up to the plate and brought us a little relief in the form of URLScan 3.0 beta/go-live release.

Here’s a few links to get you to good stuff and hopefully save the day:

Microsoft Security Bulletin: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/954462.mspx

Link to download HP’s custom SQL injection scanner and how to use it. They created this for Microsoft to help you identify possible vulnerabilities in your site.

A source code analysis application that can help identify vulnerable code in your application.

UrlScan 3.0 Beta. I’m generally opposed to installing beta software on a production webserver but I think if you’re getting hammered, it’s probably better to just bite the bullet and do it.  As you probably know UrlScan was for the most part built into IIS 6 but it doesn’t have querystring filtering, this build does and it works with IIS5.1 and later including our beloved IIS 7.0. Kudos to the IIS Team!

Word of caution

Word of caution, I’ve installed this for a few people and a couple times it wouldn’t load after the initial install (Beta software). My fix for this was to install the ISAPI filter directly on the website in question. I used Filemon to watch for when it triggered and referenced the log files to tweak out false positives from there. Each site is unique so you’ll need to tweak your settings accordingly.

Another useful tool

LogParser is another great tool for reviewing your server logs and searching for information such as hack attempts. Steve Schofield has a nice write up about using LogParser and URLScan.

A few FAQ’s on this subject:

Q: Is it Microsoft’s fault and if not then who’s fault is it?
A: It’s yours and your developer’s fault. As hackers evolve so much our techniques to combat them.  Coding methods and ways to access SQL server have changed over the years as a result of this and if you haven’t had your site updated, then it’s your fault.

Q: I just moved my website to a new server and I’m getting hacked now and I wasn’t before. It’s the new server right?
A: No. This is a new type of worm if you will that affecting websites the fact that you changed hosts, websites or applications probably doesn’t have anything to do with it at all. This really started to become a huge problem around late April of this year and we’ve watched it grow into a bigger problem since then.

Q: Is URLScan the answer to my prayers?
A: Consider it a stopgap you’ll be able to employ until you’ve had your web applications updated. You really need to get your application secured.

Q: I haven’t been attacked, how do I know if I’m vulnerable?
A: Use the two tools above and also you might want to hire a service to do website security scans. If you’re hosted with Applied Innovations you can you get free quarterly security scans from scanalert.com.

Q: What kinds of applications are vulnerable? Is it just shopping carts?
A: Every application that accesses a database server of any kind is potentially vulnerable.

Q: My website is written in XXXX language and it’s supposed to be very secure, am I vulnerable?
A: Potentially, YES! Any web application that uses a database can be vulnerable.

About author

Jess

Experienced as a Web Developer and Web Server administrator since 1994, in 1999 Jess set out to start a Web Hosting Provider that would leverage the latest in cutting edge and innovative technologies and make them available to businesses in a way that was easy to understand, easy to use and affordable. Today Applied Innovations is a recognized leader in Windows Hosting and specializes in ASP.NET, E-Commerce and Advanced Web Application Hosting.

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