The virus community has moved it's targets to SQL Server over the past few
days while a new worm virus begun to attack vulnerable SQL Servers. The exploit
focuses on servers that have no password set for the SA account and use SQL and
Windows authentication. (Note: If you use Windows Authentication, you will not
need to worry about this.) While this version of the worm may not spread too
quickly, it does pose as an alarm for this type of exploit in the future.
The virus begins by logging into your machine from another infected machine
with SA and no password. Once connected, the following commands are issued:
user = ftp
password = foo.com
This string of events pull down a file from the IP address 18.104.22.168.
The dnsservice.exe file that it pulls down has since been removed from the FTP
site, but the virus may have the capability to repoint itself to another server.
Once the virus downloads the dnsservice.exe, it starts the file and cleans up
itself using xp_cmdshell commands.
It then notifies a chat (IRC) server as a way of checking in. One can only
theorize that this was the creators way of seeing how successful the virus was.
The worm will then use the following registry keys to determine what other
servers you have registered. Upon finding one, it moves to infect it.
These keys show the servers registered in your Enterprise Manager:
On top of infecting other machines, it will begin a port scan to determine who
else it can infect. One of the scariest things about this virus is that it does
broadcast some of your server information through a public IRC channel.
Expect to not see a patch from Microsoft on this virus. This is not a
Microsoft vulnerability. It will only infect servers where the SA account is set
to blank (NULL). This worm is not isolated to servers that are on the Internet
keep in mind. For example, if I have Personal Edition of SQL Server installed on
my machine that has Internet access, my machine may be infected as well as that
presets itself as a gateway to firewall protected servers in my private network.
This virus hasn't picked up any steam yet and I don't see this version of the
virus ever. But, future releases that don't rely on public FTP sites or IRC may
be a further threat. If you still have a SQL Server installed anywhere on your
network with a blank SA password, let this serve as your warning shot across the
bow. Future worms like this may not be so easy to stop.