PRB: Security Implications of RDS 1.5, IIS 3.0 or 4.0, and ODBC

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 184375 - View products that this article applies to.
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
We strongly recommend that all users upgrade to Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) version 6.0 running on Microsoft Windows Server 2003. IIS 6.0 significantly increases Web infrastructure security. For more information about IIS security-related topics, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For information about how to do this, view the "Restoring the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key" Help topic in Regedt32.exe.
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page


Because the RDS Datafactory (a single component of RDS) allows implicit remoting of data access requests by default, it can be exploited to allow unauthorized Internet clients to access OLE DB datasources available to the server.

A malicious user may be able to gain access to ODBC data, such as data held in Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Access, when connecting to Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 with Microsoft Remote Data Services installed.


Method One: Remove RDS Functionality

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.

To disallow all RDS functionality, you must remove the following registry entries from the server hosting IIS.

  1. Run the Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  2. Remove the following registry keys and any subkeys:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services \W3SVC\Parameters\ADCLaunch\RDSServer.DataFactory
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services \W3SVC\Parameters\ADCLaunch\AdvancedDataFactory
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services W3SVC\Parameters\ADCLaunch\VbBusObj.VbBusObjCls

NOTE: Each of the preceding registry keys is one path; it has been word wrapped for readability.

Active Server Pages (ASPs) that depend on just ADO (ActiveX Data Objects) for database connectivity will continue to run.

The Benefits part of the IIS 4.0 sample site, Exploration Air, may not function correctly if this change is made. There are no other standard features in IIS 4.0 that require RDS.

Method Two: Enforce Correct Security Policy

The following are recommendations that should be followed by all Web developers who are publishing data in ASP pages:

  • Remove all nonessential ODBC drivers, especially the Microsoft Text Driver.
  • Tighten NTFS permissions (ACLs) to restrict access to only those you trust.
  • If using SQL Server, then enforce strong security measures, such as:
  • Run SQL Server as a low-privileged user account.
  • Do not allow extended stored procedures.

More information

Description of RDS Datafactory

Remote Data Services (RDS) is part of the Data Access Components installed by default with Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack and IIS 4.0. With RDS, Web clients can issue client-based SQL queries to OLE DB data sources hosted on the Web server.

The DataFactory object allows you to connect to a specified data source (such as SQL Server), using a specified UserID and password, and execute a query against that server and then return the result set back to the client.

The data source, UserID, password, and SQL statement are passed as parameters to the method exposed on the DataFactory object. If the registry keys stated above are removed however, the user will be unable to create the object, therefore removing any possibility of abuse.


Article ID: 184375 - Last Review: January 10, 2015 - Revision: 4.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Data Access Components 2.5
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbprb KB184375

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from