Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

7/12/2012
10:11 AM
Adrian Lane
Adrian Lane
Commentary
50%
50%

Let's Ask 'Why?'

Why are big firms still vulnerable to SQL injection?

Database security people as "Why?" a lot. "Why didn't they patch the database?" "Why did they move production data into testing?" "Why are they still vulnerable to SQL Injection?" "Why did forget to change the default admin password" "Why are we seeing these same simple errors?"

There has been a slowdown of blogging on the topic of database security of late. Not just me, though I am equally guilty, but just about every DB security expert I know has not had very little to say on the subject in the past year. Worse, look at the conference agenda's of RSA and Black Hat -- two of the industry's largest security shows -- and you are lucky if there is one presentation on the subject. I think since we have been seeing the same headlines over and over for so long, database security has lost its luster. Mobile, cloud, or even social media security, that's sexy. SQL injection? Not sexy, but it sure is effective.

So this is yet another opportunity to ask the question: "Why?" Have databases become so secure that it's not a topic for discussion? Not likely; it has being reported that Yahoo! suffered a breach today. The cause? SQL injection. Have you heard this before? Yes, you have.

According to data published from Privacyrights.org (CSV), SQL injection was the means used to extract 83 percent of the total records stolen in successful hacking-related data breaches from 2005 to 2011. Blink, and tomorrow it will be yet another big company. We don't see code injection and buffer overflow attacks like we used to -- the vendors have done a much better job at fixing those issues -- but SQL injection, compromised credentials, and poorly configured systems are still prevalent. These are the same basic threats we've seen for the past decade, and we see the same breach headlines!

We don't ask the question, "Why attack the database?" because we know the answer: That's where the data is. Databases are still a principle target, and most of the principle threat vectors remain viable for an attacker.

Database security programs, for better than half the small/midsize businesses I speak with, is a yearly access control and configuration assessment. No discovery. No monitoring. And if they do logging (and most don't), the data is sent to a log management system and not reviewed. That's it. And apparently lots of big enterprises don't get it right either. We've got tons of really good monitoring, assessment, auditing, masking, and encryption products out there for databases. Some are ridiculously simple to use. Others are offered for free; if you only have a handful of databases, you're not even going to pay to use some of the capabilities.

If database security is nagging at the back of your mind, then take some time and see what's out there. And if you are worried about risks, run a quick analysis to see what assets pose the greatest risk to your firm should they be lost or stolen. I think you will find the contents of the database to be at the top of your list.

Adrian Lane is an analyst/CTO with Securosis LLC, an independent security consulting practice. Special to Dark Reading. Adrian Lane is a Security Strategist and brings over 25 years of industry experience to the Securosis team, much of it at the executive level. Adrian specializes in database security, data security, and secure software development. With experience at Ingres, Oracle, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Black Hat Q&A: Hacking a '90s Sports Car
Black Hat Staff, ,  11/7/2019
The Cold Truth about Cyber Insurance
Chris Kennedy, CISO & VP Customer Success, AttackIQ,  11/7/2019
6 Small-Business Password Managers
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  11/8/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprise
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprise
Security leaders are struggling to understand their organizations risk exposure. While many are confident in their security strategies and processes, theyre also more concerned than ever about getting breached. Download this report today and get insights on how today's enterprises assess and perceive the risks they face in 2019!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-5271
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
Pacemaker before 1.1.6 configure script creates temporary files insecurely
CVE-2014-3599
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
HornetQ REST is vulnerable to XML External Entity due to insecure configuration of RestEasy
CVE-2014-7143
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
Python Twisted 14.0 trustRoot is not respected in HTTP client
CVE-2018-18819
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
A vulnerability in the web conference chat component of MiCollab, versions 7.3 PR6 (7.3.0.601) and earlier, and 8.0 (8.0.0.40) through 8.0 SP2 FP2 (8.0.2.202), and MiVoice Business Express versions 7.3 PR3 (7.3.1.302) and earlier, and 8.0 (8.0.0.40) through 8.0 SP2 FP1 (8.0.2.202), could allow creat...
CVE-2019-18658
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-12
In Helm 2.x before 2.15.2, commands that deal with loading a chart as a directory or packaging a chart provide an opportunity for a maliciously designed chart to include sensitive content such as /etc/passwd, or to execute a denial of service (DoS) via a special file such as /dev/urandom, via symlin...