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Good Practices for Software Development


Good Practices for Software Development

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Ross McMicken
Ross McMicken
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We've told several vendors that there is not a chance that they will get to use sa to do anything, and that they need to change their product to meet our security requirements. That works most of the time.

It seems to me that an app that requires you to have a password in plain text was written by lazy programmers. The solution is to have the password entered into a configuration screen that creates the config file, or even just inserts the encrypted password in the file using a key in generated by the program itself.
Yet Another DBA
Yet Another DBA
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Showed one supplier what could happen with the SA account. Lets say the junior consultant was indifferent whereas the senior consultant went white, walked outside to have a long conversation with his bosses. Apparently about their exposure and how many bluechips companies they then had to visit.

Up shot application secured :-)

It helps to work with them, give them a solution and pray
andrew gothard
andrew gothard
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Eric M Russell (4/24/2014)
If a software application is hard coded to use the "SA" account, you can rename it and then create a new account named "SA" with limited permissions. One or more builtin database level roles like db_ssisadmin, db_datareader, or even db_owner can provide all the permissions it requires to function. This also works for environments where developers and the BI team have been using the "SA" account for years. Don't tell them, just do it. So long as they can still select from tables and view schema, they probably won't know the difference.


Wow. + 1000000 if not more and this month's Evil Genius Using Their Power For Good Award

I'm a DBA.
I'm not paid to solve problems. I'm paid to prevent them.
Ivanova
Ivanova
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A variation on the 'passwords in files' exposure is the activity which genuinely requires use of a powerful ID but logs the connection details, including the password, in plain text.
I once worked for a company which used a product from a very well known database vendor (not MS and SQL Server). The procedure for applying patches from the vendor went: log in as super-user, change super user password to a temporary value, log out, run patching process (which logs everything in plain text), change super user password to a strong secret value. Followed unofficially by "wonder how a vendor of such prominence can continue to get away with such practices despite having the folly pointed out to them repeatedly".
jarick 15608
jarick 15608
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I've seen that before as well. The vendor I mentioned needed "SA" because they were creating user tables in the master database. They even went so much as to fail their installation or update if the user was not in the system admin role. I went around it by keeping that account disabled and had an alternate privileged account to use for any functions needed by SA. To their credit, I've seen a more recent version of the application and they fixed that hole.
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