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I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but Stack Exchange Data Explorer (SEDE) allows users to write their own SQL queries, and here is a list of popular queries.

What steps were taken to make sure that Stack Overflow doesn't get hacked to tears? What privileges does the SEDE SQL user account have?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 7 '10 at 19:17

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Bobby Tables isn't allowed to use it. –  Robert Harvey Dec 7 '10 at 19:18
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"I'm not sure if you are aware of this" -- the guy who wrote it now works for SO –  Michael Mrozek Dec 8 '10 at 20:20

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Hacked to tears you say :)

All the queries are running under a read-only user which has no write rights anywhere on the DB. This user also does not have any 'EXECUTE' permissions anywhere on the DB including the famous xp_cmdshell and so on.

Further more, all the data is hosted on dedicated hardware which in a separate data center to production, so runaway queries will only affect performance of other SEDE queries. To top that all query results are heavily cached.

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Not only do these queries run on a copy of the data (released to the public every month), the prepared copy of this data dump is itself protected in that the user account used to run the queries only has read access to the data.

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Speaking of data dump... how's it going for this month? :) –  Greg Hewgill Dec 10 '10 at 20:41
    
@Greg ... see: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/12/… –  waffles Dec 13 '10 at 22:50

The queries against the data explorer works on a copy of the latest data dump, not on the live site. Also, I believe it's hosted separately from the actual Stack Overflow site.

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