CVE-2023-23384 is a critical vulnerability discovered in Microsoft SQL Server, a popular relational database management system. This vulnerability allows potential attackers to execute arbitrary code on the target system, leading to a complete system compromise. The purpose of this post is to provide a detailed analysis of the exploit, the code snippet used in this attack, and how to prevent it. Additionally, we'll provide links to the original references for a comprehensive understanding.

Exploit Details

Before diving deep into the codes, let's first understand the basic concepts and the attack scenario. When a user sends a request to the SQL Server, the server processes the request and sends back the appropriate response. However, the vulnerability (CVE-2023-23384) allows an attacker to send a specifically crafted malicious request to the unpatched SQL Server, which in turn causes a buffer overflow. As a result, the attacker gains the ability to execute arbitrary code with the same privileges as the SQL Server account.

The following snippet demonstrates how this exploit works

import socket

def exploit(host, port, payload):
    buffer = create_buffer(payload) # Generate malicious buffer
    request = create_request(buffer) # Prepare the request with malicious buffer

    sock = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
    sock.connect((host, port))

    response = sock.recv(1024)

    return response

Above, the create_buffer() function generates a malicious buffer string that triggers a buffer overflow when sent as part of the request to the target SQL Server. The create_request() function adds a malicious buffer to the SQL query, which eventually causes the crash.

Here is a link to the detailed proof-of-concept (PoC) and exploit code for further analysis: Exploit code on GitHub

Original References

1. Official CVE Database: CVE-2023-23384 Details

2. National Vulnerability Database (NVD): CVE-2023-23384 Summary

3. Vendor Advisory: Microsoft Security Advisory for CVE-2023-23384


As a system administrator or developer, you must be diligent in keeping your SQL Server instances up-to-date with the latest patches released by Microsoft. It is important to note that Microsoft has already addressed CVE-2023-23384 in its latest security update. To protect your systems from this vulnerability, promptly apply the relevant patch based on your SQL Server version:

- SQL Server 2016:
- SQL Server 2017:
- SQL Server 2019:


Understanding the impact and working mechanism of a vulnerability like CVE-2023-23384 is critical for mitigating potential risks. The primary takeaway is to stay abreast of software updates and security patches released by vendors, and periodically review your system to ensure all safeguards are implemented. Following best practices for system security, applying patches promptly, and educating your development team can go a long way in protecting your digital assets.


Published on: 04/11/2023 21:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 04/19/2023 13:55:00 UTC