Security Experts:

Login Vulnerability Exposes SAP ASE Databases

German business software company SAP has patched a vulnerability in SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) that allows an unauthorized user to access the database server.

SAP ASE is a relational database management solution designed for high-performance transaction-based applications involving a large volume of data and a large number of users.

A vulnerability (CVE-2014-6284) was identified in this piece of software by Martin Rakhmanov, a senior researcher in Trustwave’s SpiderLabs team. The issue was reported to SAP back in January 2014.

“SAP ASE ships with a login named ‘probe’ used for the two-phase commit probe process, which uses a challenge and response mechanism to access Adaptive Server. There is a flaw in implementation of the challenge and response mechanism that allows anyone to access the server as ’probe’ login,” Trustwave said in an advisory.

Researchers have pointed out that “probe” is not a privileged account. However, there are some other vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers to elevate privileges and gain database administrator rights once they gain access to the server. By using a combination of the login vulnerability and a privilege escalation flaw, an attacker could take complete control of the affected database server, Trustwave said.

The security firm has published proof-of-concept (PoC) code for the vulnerability on GitHub.

The flaw affects SAP ASE versions 12.5, 15.0, 15.5, 15.7, and 16.0. SAP addressed the issue with the release of ASE 15.7 SP132 (released on February 5) and ASE 16.0 SP01 (released on March 20).

SAP has published its own advisory for the security bug, but it’s only accessible to registered users.

Researchers often find vulnerabilities in SAP solutions. In February, Onapsis published advisories for five flaws affecting SAP BusinessObjects and SAP HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance).

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.