Vulnerability Note VU#918652

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

Original Release date: 28 Jul 2003 | Last revised: 29 Jul 2003


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.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Microsoft CorporationAffected-28 Jul 2003
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



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

This document was written by Ian A Finlay.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2003-0231
  • Date Public: 23 Jul 2003
  • Date First Published: 28 Jul 2003
  • Date Last Updated: 29 Jul 2003
  • Severity Metric: 12.49
  • Document Revision: 11


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