Threat Explorer

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21 May 2002
13 February 2007
Also Known As:
JS_SQLSpida.B, Hacktool.IPStealer, JS.Spida.B, JS/SQLSpida.b.worm, SQLSnake, SQLSpida, MS SQL Worm
Systems Affected:
CVE References:

Digispid.B.Worm is a worm which spreads to computers that are running Microsoft SQL Server and which have a blank SQL administrator password. It copies files to the infected computer and changes the SQL administrator password to a string of four random characters.

The worm is unlikely to propagate in a production environment using SQL server because it relies upon the following assumptions to spread:
  • "sa" SQL server account has no password
  • SQL is running with Administrative access. By default, the SQL Server runs in the security context of a domain user.

An infected computer can be identified by the presence following characteristics:
  • The presence of some or all of these files:
    • %System32%\Drivers\Services.exe
    • %System32%\Sqlexec.js
    • %System32%\Clemail.exe
    • %System32%\Sqlprocess.js
    • %System32%\Sqlinstall.bat
    • %System32%\Sqldir.js
    • %System32%\Run.js
    • %System32%\Timer.dll
    • %System32%\Samdump.dll
    • %System32%\Pwdump2.exe
  • Many outgoing port 1433 requests
  • Increased internet traffic
  • Emails the Operating System user password and SQL server data information to ""
  • SQL server "sa" password will be changed

When systems have been infected, you should do the following:
  • Update Norton AntiVirus definitions and perform a full system scan.
  • Reset all operating system and SQL Server passwords.

Read the additional information section at the bottom of this document for more general actions that you should perform to protect your systems from unknown threats. Also, for general information regarding security best practices, read the Recommendations section of this document.

Symantec recommends taking the following actions to protect against Digispid.B.Worm:
  • Filter outgoing email messages to ""
  • Filter outgoing email messages that have subjects beginning with "SystemData-"
  • Verify that all SQL server "sa" accounts have passwords

To protect your environment from future unknown threats similar to Digispid.B.Worm, Symantec recommends the following:
  • Do not use default ports when installing applications, for example, do not use the default 1433. Instead, use an unused high level port.
  • Create an alternate administrator account and disable any default administrator accounts such as sa.

The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article contains information about the SA password in Microsoft SQL Server;EN-US;Q313418

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 21 May 2002
  • Latest Rapid Release version 20 August 2008 revision 017
  • Initial Daily Certified version 21 May 2002
  • Latest Daily Certified version 20 August 2008 revision 016
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date 21 May 2002
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Digispid.B.Worm is executed on a vulnerable computer, it does the following:

It copies the following files to the hard disk:
  • \System32\Drivers\Services.exe
    This is a port scanner that the worm uses to locate vulnerable computers.
  • \System32\Sqlexec.js
    This is a JavaScript file that the worm uses to execute command-line functions on the remote computer.
  • \System32\Clemail.exe
    This is a command-line email utility. The worm uses this program to send the IP address and SQL information in email to the virus writer.
  • \System32\Sqlprocess.js
    This is a JavaScript file which performs the worm functionality. It does the following:

    It adds the values

    ImagePath  %COMSPEC% /c start netdde && sqlprocess init
    Start      2

    to the registry key


    It adds the value

    dsquery      dbmssocn

    to registry key


    It copies the file




    It deletes the file %SystemRoot%\System32\Msver241.srq

    The JavaScript sends the IP address and SQL table and row information to the virus writer. It also searches for vulnerable computers on networks whose IP addresses do not begin with 10, 127, 172, or 192. When it finds a vulnerable computer, it executes \System32\Sqlinstall.bat, which installs the worm onto the remote computer.
  • \System32\Sqlinstall.bat
    This .bat file activates the guest user account, sets the guest user account password to a string of four random characters, and adds the guest account to the Administrators and Domain Admins groups.

    It then searches for the presence of \System32\Cscript.exe. If it finds the file, it then checks whether the worm has already copied the %SystemRoot%\System32\Regedt32.exe file to %SystemRoot%\Regedt32.exe. If so, the .bat file exits. Otherwise it copies the following files to the default system share of the remote computer:

    After it copies these files, it changes the remote SQL administrator password to a string of four random characters. It then triggers the remote computer to execute Sqlprocess.js.
  • \System32\Sqldir.js
    This is a JavaScript file which the worm uses to collect table and row information from the SQL Server.
  • \System32\Run.js
    This is a JavaScript file which the worm uses to trigger the remote computers to execute the worm.
  • \System32\Timer.dll
    This is a .dll file which the worm registers on the infected system. It is a simple timer program.
  • \System32\Samdump.dll
    This is a .dll file that the worm copies to infected computers. It does not appear to perform malicious actions.
  • \System32\Pwdump2.exe
    This is a file that the worm uses to attempt to steal the infected computer's password.

After the worm copies the preceding files, it changes the SQL administrator password to a string of four random characters.


Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":

  • Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
  • Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
  • Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
  • Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
  • Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
  • Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
  • If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
  • Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
  • Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
  • Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
  • Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
  • If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
  • For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.

Obtain the most recent virus definitions. There are two ways to do this:
    • Run LiveUpdate. LiveUpdate is the easiest way to obtain virus definitions. These virus definitions have undergone full quality assurance testing by Symantec Security Response and are posted to the LiveUpdate servers one time each week (usually Wednesdays) unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, look at the Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate) line at the top of this write-up.
    • Download the definitions using the Intelligent Updater. Intelligent Updater virus definitions have undergone full quality assurance testing by Symantec Security Response. They are posted on U.S. business days (Monday through Friday). They must be downloaded from the Symantec Security Response Web site and installed manually. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, look at the Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater) line at the top of this write-up.

      Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available here. For detailed instructions on how to download and install the Intelligent Updater virus definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site, click here.
  1. Start Norton AntiVirus (NAV), and make sure that NAV is configured to scan all files. For instructions on how to do this, read the document How to configure Norton AntiVirus to scan all files.
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. Delete all files that are detected as Digispid.B.Worm.
  4. Locate and delete the following files:
    • \System32\Drivers\Services.exe
    • \System32\Clemail.exe
    • \System32\Timer.dll
    • \System32\Samdump.dll
    • \System32\Pwdump2.exe

Writeup By: Douglas Knowles