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Revision Date Username Comment
821 Dec 2014 - 14:20ThomasMisa 
722 Jul 2014 - 17:28ThomasMisa 
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SQL Slammer Worm

The SQL Slammer worm (also called the Sapphire Worm) was notorious for the speed with which it spread after first being released at 5:30 UTC on January 25, 2003. Within ten minutes, the worm infected more than 75,000 hosts, about ninety percent of all those vulnerable. Though the worm contained no malicious payload, its rapid propagation caused network overloads and disabled database servers. By the morning after its release, 13,000 Bank of America ATMs were offline, Continental Airlines was forced to use manual check-in, and Internet trading on the South Korean stock market was sharply reduced. Because it spread too quickly for any human-based response, SQL Slammer led to greater use of automated forms of security to combat such attacks.(1)(2)

SQL Slammer was a small piece of code, only 376 bytes of data, and infected the Microsoft SQLServer 2000 host. The entire worm, including headers, created a single 404-byte UDP packet.(3) The worm did not actively seek to damage its host, and made no attempt at inspecting or modifying files, nor at interfering with program execution on the infected server. Instead, the worm focused solely on its own propagation by generating pseudo-random IP addresses and sending User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets from its host to each address. The worm exploited a buffer overflow vulnerability in the SQLServer 2000 software. Microsoft had released a patch to fix the vulnerability six months earlier, but many servers had not yet installed it at the time of the worm's release. Had the worm contained a malicious payload, its effects would have been far more severe.(4)(5)


1 , 4 : http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2003/4/6862-on-sapphire-and-type-safe-languages/fulltext

2 , 5 : http://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/sp/2003/04/j4033-abs.html

3 : http://www.caida.org/publications/papers/2003/sapphire/sapphire.html

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