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passwords in asp pages
From: "" <ian () kingcon com>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 09:00:11 -0500

I am new to security and I have no training in asp programming, so I am wondering if I am right in being scared of the 
following instance...

A IIS based website which has asp pages which contain plaintext passwords for credentials to an sql database on another 
machine.  The passwords are in between <% %> so I assume that means they are only processed on the server and the user 
does not see them, and there do not seem to be any .inc files calling these pages.  The server is also up to date with 
patches as far as I know.

This situation really bothers me, but I'm not experienced enough too know how it could be exploited or whether it could 
be exploited at all.  I just don't like the fact that passwords to a db user are scattered all over the website.  I 
need something to make it easy to say to the people responsible... "Here look this is what can be done to the website 
to gather the passwords and destroy your data.  I don't think it is wise you do this, it is in your best interests to 
change this pattern."  The programmer seemed to just brush it off, when I said that they could be viewed if their 
source was viewed, by telling me that they would be only processed by the server itself, which still doesn't make me 
feel good at all.

Shouldn't the password be encrypted?  Seperated in their own file?  

Is it correct to assume that an attacker who elevated their priveledges on the web box could view these files and gain 
access too the database that way through some other method?  

What else can be done by an attacker against asp pages that would allow this data to be discovered?

Also if I could actually just demonstrate it right before their eyes that would be a big help.

Thanks for any advice.


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