SQL Spida worm propagation

sql-spida-worm (9124) The risk level is classified as HighHigh Risk


The SQL Spida worm propagates via Microsoft SQL Server installations with administrator accounts that have no passwords defined. This worm attempts to locate and login to Microsoft SQL servers with the "sa" account and a blank password. Once a vulnerable computer is found, the worm will infect that target, send its configuration and password information to an external host, and begin scanning for new targets.

Although Microsoft recommends that the "sa" account be set upon installation, many servers are not properly secured. If the worm finds a vulnerable server, it will attempt to execute its startup script by running the "xp_cmdshell" function, which is the SQL call used to execute system commands within SQL queries.

The main function of the Spida worm is to export an infected server's SAM password database and forward information about its network and database configuration.

For more information refer to Internet Security Systems Security Alert #118. See References.


Gain Access


Microsoft SQL Server customers should refer to the following address for information and securing Microsoft SQL Server:


Platforms Affected:

  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000
  • Microsoft Windows 2003 Server
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0


May 21, 2002

The information within this database may change without notice. Use of this information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are NO warranties, implied or otherwise, with regard to this information or its use. Any use of this information is at the user's risk. In no event shall the author/distributor (IBM Internet Security Systems X-Force) be held liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the use or spread of this information.

For corrections or additions please email ignore thisxforceignore this@ignore thisus.ignore thisibm.comignore this

Return to the main page