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[ISN] Sybase patches three security holes


By James Niccolai
IDG News Service

Sybase has issued a security patch for three vulnerabilities affecting
the newest versions of its database software that could allow a
malicious hacker to gain control of a Sybase server and run arbitrary
code on it.

Sybase said it wasn't aware of any systems that have been affected by
the problem, but advised customers to download and install the
patches, which were made available on its Web site last week.

The security holes can be used to create a "buffer overflow," a memory
problem frequently exploited in cyberattacks. The holes affect users
running the latest versions of its Adaptive Server database, versions
12.0 and 12.5, on both Unix and Windows platforms, said Application
Security, which discovered the problem.

Sybase downplayed the risk. The vulnerabilities are "predominantly
hypothetical" and can be exploited only by those who are able to log
into a system as a "trusted user," said Tom Traubitz, a Sybase senior
marketing manager.

Application Security, which called the vulnerabilities "high risk,"  

"A non-privileged user can execute these things; we stand by that,"  
said Stephen Grey, an Application Security marketing manager.

One exploit uses the command "DROP DATABASE."

"This is meant to only be run by privileged users, however if a
non-privileged user runs this command, the buffer overflow occurs
before any access control takes place," Application Security said on
its Web site. "Therefore a non-privileged user can use this security
hole to take complete control of a Sybase server."

Application Security has posted a description of the vulnerabilities
on its Web site.

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