Sep 16 2008   5:58PM GMT

FREE Tools for Auditing MS SQL Server

Arian Eigen Heald Arian Eigen Heald Profile: Arian Eigen Heald

There’s a lot of really nice application tools to audit SQL databases out there. They have lots of bells and whistles and write out a really nice report with professional formatting. If you’ve got one of those, LUCKY YOU. But most of us Admins and Auditors have to scrounge for what we can find with the budget we’ve got (read $0).

So I always like to start out with SQLPing A nice tool from that scans the network both actively and passively, testing SQL’s default listening port 1433 and it reports on what it finds (nothing fancy, just text). This includes those desktop versions of SQL Server: MSDE, that are often configured with SA-no password. This tool will tell you what version SQL is running, and will even do a test for SA-no password. Since SA cannot be locked out, you won’t damage the server with one attempt.

NOTE: Check with your network administrator before running this test. It’s also a great test of your intrusion detection system, because, if the IDS is configured properly, it should catch it and alert for it. Make sure management knows you are using this, if that’s what you’re going to use it for. No IDS? No worries.

I also recommend SQLSecurity. com for a lot of great information and scripts for DBAs. They know all about SQL Injection (Unlike a CIO I recently interviewed three years ago) and they have lots of MS SQL information well worth your visit.

The other free tools I use are found inside SQL Server. Yes, inside the SQL database, and they are called “Stored Procedures.” This is a fancy name for pre-written sequenced query language batch files. The folks at Microsoft have done us all a great favor by writing hundreds of them. Inside the Master database are the stored procedures you want to run, or have a DBA run for you and output to .csv format files. (Each database also has stored procedures, but the Master database SPs are the ones you want.) There is a table full of them, and here are the ones I use:

sp_helpdb Names and file locations on the Windows server of all SQL databases. (And you should find out who or what has access to those files)

sp_helpuser Review usernames, groups the user belongs to, and their default login database.

sp_helplogins a. Identify and review any external users and groups; b. Look for mappings of login name to UserOrAlias or as DB Owner. c. Check AUser and ARemote columns to identify who has remote access to what database.

sp_helpsrvrolemember Users and groups assigned to each server role (More on this later)

sp_helprotect Permissions in the database. Examine this list carefully for what rights are granted and denied to whom.

Get the results of these queries, results from the last post, and SQLPing. You’ll have some very interesting items to review. and remember, Google is your friend.

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