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Why do I have to store SQL sensor queries and custom scripts in files on the probe computer?

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The SQL sensors that PRTG includes are a great help to maintain my databases. However, I wonder why I need to store the queries in a text file on the PRTG probe system. When I want to change the query, I always have to log in on that machine to access the SQL query file. The same is for all my custom sensors that execute scripts.

Couldn't there be an easier option like changing queries directly via the PRTG web interface?

custom-sensor prtg script security sql sql-queries usage

Created on Aug 1, 2017 10:12:07 AM by  Gerald Schoch [Paessler Support]

Last change on Aug 1, 2017 2:02:39 PM by  Gerald Schoch [Paessler Support]



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This article applies to PRTG Network Monitor 14.4.12 or later

Security Feature: No Access to Scripts via the PRTG Web Interface

As a network monitoring tool, PRTG has a high responsibility for your network safety and comes with a lot of features that address security. Just have a look at this Knowledge Base article for a list of security features in PRTG: What security features does PRTG include?

You may not directly recognize many security related features, but some are more prominent. One of the more visible security features is for sensor types that execute custom scripts. These not only include custom script sensors, but also the SQL sensors that we introduced with PRTG version 14.4.12.

These sensor types require that you store your SQL query in its own file for security reasons. You have to place this script on the computer running the local or remote probe to which you add a database sensor.

Security and Ease of Use

Sometimes this approach confuses our customers a bit because affected sensors might not be as intuitive and easy to use in some cases as PRTG features usually are.

For example, some customers suggest to provide the option to create and adjust SQL queries directly via the sensor settings in the PRTG web interface like in old PRTG versions. And yes, we agree. On the one hand, this would be an easier approach in some use cases. But, on the other hand, it would be also less secure, so going the indirect way is worth the effort!

Network Security and Read/Write Access to Scripts

The main point of our security concept for such sensor types is that to create or modify a script that PRTG executes on a remote system, you must have access to the local disk of this system. We assume that computers on which the PRTG server with the local probe or any remote probes run (and so the system where PRTG will execute a script) are secure, because the administrator will do everything to make sure that only authorized persons can access these machines.

This way, if an attacker manages to capture a login into your PRTG web interface, they will not be able to compromise your network by running malicious scripts on the PRTG server or probe system. Just imagine someone sending a drop table statement to your database server! Our security concept ensures that someone who only has access to the PRTG web interface is neither able to inject a script into a remote system nor able to modify an existing script, they always need access to the file system itself.

A positive side effect of this concept is that even if a possible attacker obtains read rights for your PRTG web interface, they would not get more than the name of the remote script. No internal structure information about your databases will be exposed!

Created on Aug 1, 2017 10:19:22 AM by  Gerald Schoch [Paessler Support]

Last change on Aug 1, 2017 12:11:25 PM by  Brandy Mauff [Paessler Support]



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Disclaimer: The information in the Paessler Knowledge Base comes without warranty of any kind. Use at your own risk. Before applying any instructions please exercise proper system administrator housekeeping. You must make sure that a proper backup of all your data is available.