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RE: passwords in asp pages
From: "Miller, Joe" <joe.miller () us mizuho-sc com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 14:07:31 -0500

You didn't specify the details about version, but here is a solution
that might work well for you. You can create a COM class that handles
all database related calls. For instance, the class can hand out ADO
connections based off of some criteria. The asp pages will no nothing
about the specifics of the connection other than the type (ie. by type I
mean it knows to connect to DB XYZ on SQL Server). All the specifics
about the connection (server, db, user, password) are managed by the the
COM DLL.

You can now do:

<% Set oDBClassFactory = CreateObject("MyDBExpert.ClassFactory")
   Set oADOConn = oDBClassFactory.getConnection(enumWhichDB) %>

The details about the connection are now abstracted behind the Class
Factory interface. In general, sprinkling connection specific properties
about your asp (or any client code), is not recommended. It is much
better to delegate this responsibility to a connection expert class.
This is not only better in terms of security, but improves the overall
maintenance of the system (ie. only need to manage connections in one
place).

Hope this helps.

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:ian () kingcon com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 2004 9:00 AM
To: SECURITY-BASICS () securityfocus com
Subject: passwords in asp pages


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.

Ian
:)



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---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethical Hacking at the InfoSec Institute. Mention this ad and get $545 off
any course! All of our class sizes are guaranteed to be 10 students or less
to facilitate one-on-one interaction with one of our expert instructors.
Attend a course taught by an expert instructor with years of in-the-field
pen testing experience in our state of the art hacking lab. Master the skills
of an Ethical Hacker to better assess the security of your organization.
Visit us at:
http://www.infosecinstitute.com/courses/ethical_hacking_training.html
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