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PostgreSQL must prevent non-privileged users from executing privileged functions, to include disabling, circumventing, or altering implemented security safeguards/countermeasures.


Finding ID Version Rule ID IA Controls Severity
V-214148 PGS9-00-011700 SV-214148r508027_rule High
Preventing non-privileged users from executing privileged functions mitigates the risk that unauthorized individuals or processes may gain unnecessary access to information or privileges. System documentation should include a definition of the functionality considered privileged. Depending on circumstances, privileged functions can include, for example, establishing accounts, performing system integrity checks, or administering cryptographic key management activities. Non-privileged users are individuals that do not possess appropriate authorizations. Circumventing intrusion detection and prevention mechanisms or malicious code protection mechanisms are examples of privileged functions that require protection from non-privileged users. A privileged function in PostgreSQL/database context is any operation that modifies the structure of the database, its built-in logic, or its security settings. This would include all Data Definition Language (DDL) statements and all security-related statements. In an SQL environment, it encompasses, but is not necessarily limited to: CREATE ALTER DROP GRANT REVOKE There may also be Data Manipulation Language (DML) statements that, subject to context, should be regarded as privileged. Possible examples include: TRUNCATE TABLE; DELETE, or DELETE affecting more than n rows, for some n, or DELETE without a WHERE clause; UPDATE or UPDATE affecting more than n rows, for some n, or UPDATE without a WHERE clause; any SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE to an application-defined security table executed by other than a security principal. Depending on the capabilities of PostgreSQL and the design of the database and associated applications, the prevention of unauthorized use of privileged functions may be achieved by means of DBMS security features, database triggers, other mechanisms, or a combination of these. However, the use of procedural languages within PostgreSQL, such as pl/R and pl/Python, introduce security risk. Any user on the PostgreSQL who is granted access to pl/R or pl/Python is able to run UDFs to escalate privileges and perform unintended functions. Procedural languages such as pl/Perl and pl/Java have "untrusted" mode of operation, which do not allow a non-privileged PostgreSQL user to escalate privileges or perform actions as a database administrator.
PostgreSQL 9.x Security Technical Implementation Guide 2022-06-13


Check Text ( C-15364r361075_chk )
Review the system documentation to obtain the definition of the PostgreSQL functionality considered privileged in the context of the system in question.

Review the PostgreSQL security configuration and/or other means used to protect privileged functionality from unauthorized use.

If the configuration does not protect all of the actions defined as privileged, this is a finding.

If PostgreSQL instance uses procedural languages, such as pl/Python or pl/R, without AO authorization, this is a finding.
Fix Text (F-15362r361076_fix)
Configure PostgreSQL security to protect all privileged functionality.

If pl/R and pl/Python are used, document their intended use, document users that have access to pl/R and pl/Python, as well as their business use case, such as data-analytics or data-mining. Because of the risks associated with using pl/R and pl/Python, their use must have AO risk acceptance.

To remove unwanted extensions, use:


To remove unwanted privileges from a role, use the REVOKE command.

See the PostgreSQL documentation for more details: http://www.postgresql.org/docs/current/static/sql-revoke.html