Check for Unrestricted SQL Server Access

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Risk level: High (not acceptable risk)

Ensure that Google Cloud VPC network firewall rules do not allow unrestricted access (i.e. 0.0.0.0/0) on TCP port 1433 in order to implement the Principle of Least Privilege (POLP) and reduce the attack surface for the virtual machine (VM) instances associated with these firewall rules. TCP port 1433 is used by Microsoft SQL Server, a secure and performant object-relational database system (RDBMS) developed by Microsoft.

Security

Allowing unrestricted inbound/ingress access on TCP port 1433 (Microsoft SQL Server) via VPC network firewall rules can increase opportunities for malicious activities such as hacking, brute-force attacks, and SQL injection attacks.


Audit

To determine if your Google Cloud VPC firewall rules allow unrestricted access on TCP port 1433, perform the following operations:

Using GCP Console

01 Sign in to Google Cloud Management Console.

02 Select the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) project that you want to examine from the console top navigation bar.

03 Navigate to VPC Network dashboard at https://console.cloud.google.com/networking.

04 In the navigation panel, select Firewall, click inside the Filter table box, set Type to Ingress and Disabled to False, to list all the inbound rules enabled for the resources within the selected project.

05 Check the filtered list for any inbound rules with the Protocols / ports attribute set to tcp:1433 or tcp:0-65535, Action to Allow, and Filters to IP ranges: 0.0.0.0/0. If one or more rules match the filter criteria, there are VPC network firewall rules that allow unrestricted access on TCP port 1433, therefore the SQL Server access granted to the associated Google Cloud resources is not secured.

06 Repeat steps no. 2 – 5 for each GCP project deployed in your Google Cloud account.

Using GCP CLI

01 Run projects list command (Windows/macOS/Linux) using custom query filters to list the IDs of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) projects currently available in your Google Cloud account:

gcloud projects list
	--format="table(projectId)"

02 The command output should return the requested GCP project identifiers (IDs):

PROJECT_ID
cc-project5-stack-123123
cc-mobile-project-112233

03 Run compute networks list command (Windows/macOS/Linux) using the ID of the GCP project that you want to examine as identifier parameter and custom query filters to describe the name of each VPC network created within the selected project:

gcloud compute networks list
	--project cc-project5-stack-123123
	--format="table(name)"

04 The command output should return the name(s) of the VPC network(s) created for the specified project:

NAME
cc-app-stack-network

05 Run compute firewall-rules list command (Windows/macOS/Linux) using the name of the VPC network that you want to examine as identifier parameter and custom filtering to list all the firewall rules defined for the selected Virtual Private Cloud (VPC):

gcloud compute firewall-rules list
	--filter network=cc-app-stack-network
	--sort-by priority
	--format=table"(name,disabled,direction,sourceRanges,allowed[].map().firewall_rule().list())"

06 The command output should return the requested information available for the existing VPC firewall rules:

NAME                   DISABLED   DIRECTION   SOURCE_RANGES     ALLOW
cc-app-allow-rdp       False      INGRESS     ['0.0.0.0/0']     tcp:3389
cc-app-allow-mssql     False      INGRESS     ['0.0.0.0/0']     tcp:1433

Check the compute firewall-rules list command output for any enabled firewall rules (i.e. DISABLED attribute set to False) with the DIRECTION set to INGRESS, SOURCE_RANGES set to ['0.0.0.0/0'], and ALLOW set to tcp:1433 or tcp:0-65535. If one or more rules match the search criteria, there are VPC network firewall rules that allow unrestricted access on TCP port 1433, therefore the SQL Server access granted to the associated Google Cloud resources is not restricted/secured.

07 Repeat step no. 5 and 6 for each VPC network created for the selected GCP project.

08 Repeat steps no. 3 – 7 for each GCP project deployed in your Google Cloud account.

Remediation / Resolution

To update your VPC network firewall rules configuration in order to restrict Microsoft SQL Server access to trusted, authorized IP addresses or IP ranges only, perform the following operations:

Using GCP Console

01 Sign in to Google Cloud Management Console.

02 Select the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) project that you want to examine from the console top navigation bar.

03 Navigate to VPC Network dashboard at https://console.cloud.google.com/networking.

04 In the navigation panel, select Firewall to access the list of VPC firewall rules created for the resources within the selected project.

05 Click on the name of the rule that allows unrestricted inbound access on TCP port 1433 (see Audit section part I to identify the right firewall rule), then click on the Edit button from the dashboard top menu to access the rule configuration settings.

06 On the selected firewall rule configuration page, perform the following:

  1. Remove the overly permissive 0.0.0.0/0 IP range from the Source IP ranges configuration box to deny unrestricted ingress access on TCP port 1433 (SQL Server).
  2. Type the source IP address(es) or IP address range(s) into the Source IP ranges box to define the source for the incoming traffic on TCP port 1433. The allowed IP address blocks must be specified in CIDR format (e.g. 10.10.5.0/24). The IP range(s) can include addresses inside your VPC network and outside your network. Source IP range(s) can be used to define sources both inside and outside Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  3. Click Save to apply the configuration changes.

07 If required, repeat step no. 5 and 6 to reconfigure other VPC network firewall rules that allow unrestricted inbound access on TCP port 1433.

08 Repeat steps no. 2 – 7 for each GCP project available within your Google Cloud account.

Using GCP CLI

01 Run compute firewall-rules update command (Windows/macOS/Linux) to reconfigure the VPC firewall rule that allows unrestricted ingress access on TCP port 1433 (see Audit section part II to identify the right firewall rule), by replacing the insecure 0.0.0.0/0 IP source range with a trusted, authorized IP address/IP range. The IP range(s) can include addresses available within your VPC network and outside your network. The allowed IP address blocks must be defined in CIDR format. You can specify a single value (e.g. 10.10.5.5/32) or a comma-separated list of multiple values (e.g. 10.10.5.5/32, 10.10.5.0/24):

gcloud compute firewall-rules update cc-app-allow-mssql
	--allow tcp:1433
	--source-ranges=10.10.5.0/24
	--description="Allows SQL Server access from an authorized network"

02 The command output should return the ID of the reconfigured VPC firewall rule:

Updated [https://www.googleapis.com/compute/v1/projects/cc-project5-stack-123123/global/firewalls/cc-app-allow-mssql].

03 If required, repeat step no. 1 and 2 to reconfigure other VPC network firewall rules that allow unrestricted inbound access on TCP port 1433 (Microsoft SQL Server).

04 Repeat steps no. 1 – 3 for each GCP project deployed in your Google Cloud account.

References

Publication date Apr 21, 2021

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You are auditing:

Check for Unrestricted SQL Server Access

Risk level: High