search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

CERT Coordination Center

Microsoft SQL Server becomes unresponsive when large packet is sent to specific named pipe

Vulnerability Note VU#918652

Original Release Date: 2003-07-28 | Last Revised: 2003-07-29


A vulnerability in Microsoft SQL Server may allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service. An exploit for this vulnerability is publicly available.


Microsoft describes SQL Server as, "a fully enterprise-class database product, providing core support for Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Internet queries." A vulnerability exists a portion of code responsible for supporting SQL queries over a named pipe. Quoting from Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-031: "The vulnerability results because of a flaw in the way that SQL Server interprets a return code from a specific named pipes operation. When more data than expected is received, SQL misinterprets the valid return code as an error. When this occurs, the system stops responding." The following products are affected:

    • Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
    • Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) 1.0
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2000
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000)
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (Windows)
For further technical details, please see the following documents:


A local attacker may be able to cause the SQL Server to become unresponsive, which may require the host to be rebooted to regain functionality.


Apply a patch.

Vendor Information


Microsoft Corporation Affected

Updated:  July 28, 2003



Vendor Statement

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


The CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector



This vulnerability was discovered by Andreas Junestam of @stake Inc.

This document was written by Ian A Finlay.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2003-0231
Severity Metric: 12.49
Date Public: 2003-07-23
Date First Published: 2003-07-28
Date Last Updated: 2003-07-29 13:20 UTC
Document Revision: 12

Sponsored by CISA.